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Arch Oral Biol. 2018 Jan;85:58-63. doi: 10.1016/j.archoralbio.2017.10.003. Epub 2017 Oct 7.

Probiotic intervention influences the salivary levels of Matrix Metalloproteinase (MMP)-9 and Tissue Inhibitor of metalloproteinases (TIMP)-1 in healthy adults.

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Department of Cariology and Restorative Dentistry, Institute of Dentistry and FINDOS-Turku Finnish doctoral program in oral sciences, University of Turku, Turku, Finland. Electronic address:
Departments of Oral and Maxillofacial Diseases, University of Helsinki and Helsinki University Central Hospital, Helsinki, Finland.
Departments of Oral and Maxillofacial Diseases, University of Helsinki and Helsinki University Central Hospital, Helsinki, Finland; Division of Periodontology, Department of Dental Medicine, Karolinska Institutet, Huddinge, Sweden.
Institute of Dentistry, University of Turku, Finland.



To study the effect of orally administered Bifidobacterium animalis subsp. lactis BB-12 and Lactobacillus rhamnosus GG on the salivary levels of Matrix Metalloproteinases (MMP)-8, MMP-9 and of Tissue Inhibitor of Metalloproteinases (TIMP)-1 in healthy adults. Furthermore, the correlations between MMP-8, MMP-9 and TIMP-1 and plaque and gingival indices, salivary mutans streptococci and lactobacilli counts, and stimulated saliva secretion rate were analysed.


The salivary samples originated from a randomized controlled trial where healthy student volunteers consumed probiotic or placebo lozenges twice a day for four weeks. The saliva samples were collected and clinical parameters measured at the baseline and at the end of the original study. For this study, the salivary levels of MMP-8, MMP-9 and TIMP-1 were analysed with immunofluorometric assay (IFMA) and enzyme-linked immunosorbent assay (ELISA).


In the probiotic group (n=29), salivary MMP-9 levels increased (p<0.01) and TIMP-1 levels decreased (p<0.01) significantly during the intervention. Furthermore, MMP-9/TIMP-1 ratio differed significantly from the baseline level (p<0.01). These changes were not observed in the control group (n=31). In the whole data, salivary MMP-9 and gingival index correlated (r=0.260, p<0.05 at baseline and r=0.354, p<0.01 at the end of the study). Intergroup differences or correlations with other clinical parameters were not found. Probiotic consumption did not affect the saliva flow rate.


Increased MMP-9 and decreased TIMP-1 levels in saliva may indicate that probiotics have immunomodulatory effects in the oral cavity. Furthermore, increased salivary MMP-9 levels may be an indication of the defensive potential of matrix metalloproteinases.


Bifidobacterium animalis subsp. lactis BB-12; Lactobacillus rhamnosus GG; Matrix metalloproteinase (MMP); Probiotic; Saliva; Tissue inhibitor of metalloproteinases (TIMP)

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