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Exp Ther Med. 2014 Oct;8(4):1308-1312. Epub 2014 Jul 21.

Effect of emodin on the cariogenic properties of Streptococcus mutans and the development of caries in rats.

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Department of Oral Medicine, Kunhua Hospital, The First People's Hospital of Yunnan Province, Kunming, Yunnan 650032, P.R. China.


Emodin is an active herbal component traditionally used in East Asian countries for treating a variety of diseases. The present study investigated the effects of emodin on specific virulence factors of Streptococcus mutans (S. mutans) in vitro and on caries development in vivo. The growth and acid production of S. mutans were significantly inhibited by emodin (0.5-2 mg/ml). Emodin also significantly suppressed the synthesis of insoluble glucans by S. mutans. Furthermore, the topical application of emodin reduced the incidence and severity of carious lesions in rats. These results suggest that the natural compound emodin may be a novel pharmacological agent for the prevention and treatment of dental caries.


Streptococcus mutans; caries; emodin; glucosyltransferase

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