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Microbiol Res. 2013 Jun 12;168(5):254-62. doi: 10.1016/j.micres.2012.12.007. Epub 2013 Jan 11.

In vitro antimicrobial and anticancer potential of hinokitiol against oral pathogens and oral cancer cell lines.

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Institute of Oral Biology, School of Dentistry, National Yang-Ming University, No. 155, Sec. 2, Linong Street, Taipei 11217, Taiwan.


Hinokitiol is a natural component isolated from Chamacyparis taiwanensis. It has anti-microbial activity, and has been used in oral care products. The minimal inhibitory concentration (MIC) and minimal microbicidal concentration (MMC) of hinokitiol against MRSA, Aggregatibacter actinomycetemcomitans, Streptococcus mutans, and Candida albicans were determined by the agar and broth dilution method (MIC: 40-110μM; MMC: 50-130μM); the paradoxical inhibition phenomenon (PIP) was observed in A. actinomycetemcomitans and S. mutans. The PIP can be described as microbial growth occurring in the presence of both high and low concentrations of a compound, between which microbial growth is inhibited. The PIP was confirmed using a kinetic microplate and inhibition zone methods. The PIP was also observed in MRSA. The low autolysin activity somehow correlated to the PIP positive. The cell diameter was increased in all the pathogens, and the transition was inhibited in C. albicans following hinokitiol treatment. Hinokitiol is also a potential anticancer drug. The 200μM of hinokitiol has significant antimicrobial and cytotoxic activities against oral pathogens and oral squamous cell carcinoma cell lines, respectively, and lower cytotoxic effects for normal human oral keratinocytes, indicating that hinokitiol displays a high potential for safe and effective applications in oral health care.

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