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Cell Biochem Funct. 2000 Jun;18(2):103-8.

Salivary biomass assessed by bioluminescence ATP assay related to (bacterial and somatic) cell counts.

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1
Department of Stomatology, Faculty of Medicine, Free University of Brussels, Belgium.

Abstract

The present work aimed (1) to evaluate ATP content in saliva by the bioluminescent luciferin-luciferase method, (2) to evaluate the relationships between ATP content, bacterial count and epithelial cell numbers in saliva, (3) to study the effect of two different antiseptics (peroxidase system producing hypothiocyanite and chlorhexidine) on the salivary biomass. In 45 young adults, the salivary ATP content ranged from 8 to 1515 nM. Salivary ATP content was significantly and directly correlated to bacterial count and epithelial cell numbers (Spearman-Rank correlation, P< or =0.001). Regression analysis allowed the inference of a mean epithelial cell and bacterial ATP content of 152.7 fg and 8.3 fg per cell, respectively. The salivary ATP content decreased significantly to 38. 8+/-12.3 per cent (mean+/-SEM, N=6) of its initial value after a 30-min incubation in the presence of a peroxidase system producing hypothiocyanite (OSCN(-)). Chlorhexidine (CHX) reduced salivary ATP content to 52.0+/-16.7 per cent. OSCN(-) did not affect the transformed logarithm of bacterial count but CHX reduced it from 7. 02+/-0.26 to 0.52+/-0.33. No effect of OSCN(-) was seen on the ratio of epithelial cell viability while CHX reduced it from 46.7+/-5.1 to 3.9+/-1.1 per cent. It is concluded that the combination of the evaluations of the ATP content and cell numbers in saliva can provide reliable data about the effects of oral antiseptics on salivary biomass.

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