Activity and distribution pattern of enzymes in the in-situ pellicle of children.


Clinic of Operative Dentistry, Medical Faculty Carl Gustav Carus, TU Dresden, Fetscherstraße 74, 01307 Dresden, Germany. Electronic address: [Email]


OBJECTIVE : This study investigated, for the first time, pellicle enzymes with respect to their activity, distribution and fluorescence pattern in children with different caries experience.
METHODS : In-situ pellicles were collected from 41 children (aged 4-6 years) with different caries status; 17 of them were caries-free (dmf = 0), 12 had dental restorations but no current caries (dmf ≥ 2) and 12 had at least two carious lesions (dmf ≥ 2). Bovine enamel samples were fixed on individual upper jaw braces for pellicle formation. After 30 min of intraoral exposure, the pellicle and saliva samples were analysed for the activities of amylase, lysozyme, peroxidase and glucosyltransferase (GTF). The distribution of these enzymes, including GTF-isoforms B, C and D, and the pellicle ultrastructure were examined by gold-immunolabelling and transmission electron microscopy (TEM). Furthermore, interactions between pellicle enzymes and adherent bacteria were visualised using combined fluorescence and immunofluorescence labelling.
RESULTS : There were no significant differences in the pellicle enzyme activities between the study groups. TEM analysis revealed the absence of GTF C and D in the pellicle of caries-active children. Amylase, peroxidase and GTF-isoforms showed a random distribution within the pellicle layer; lysozyme was found in the form of clusters. A similar ultrastructural pattern was observed for all subjects. Fluorescence labelling technique enabled visualisation of all enzymes, except for GTF B.
CONCLUSIONS : Pellicle enzyme activities and ultrastructure are not associated with children's caries status. Further investigation is needed to assess the influence of individual GTF-isoforms on caries susceptibility in children.


Bioadhesion,Children,Enzymes,Fluorescence microscopy,Pellicle,TEM,

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