Antibacterial mechanism of areca nut essential oils against Streptococcus mutans by targeting the biofilm and the cell membrane

Front Cell Infect Microbiol. 2023 Aug 28;13:1140689. doi: 10.3389/fcimb.2023.1140689. eCollection 2023.


INTRODUCTION: Dental caries is one of the most common and costly biofilm-dependent oral diseases in the world. Streptococcus mutans is the major cariogenic pathogen of dental caries. S. mutans synthesizes extracellular polysaccharides by autologous glucosyltransferases, which then promotes bacterial adhesion and cariogenic biofilm formation. The S. mutans biofilm is the principal target for caries treatment. This study was designed to explore the antibacterial activity and mechanisms of areca nut essential oil (ANEO) against S. mutans.

METHODS: The ANEOs were separated by negative pressure hydro-distillation. The Kirby-Bauer method and broth microdilution method were carried out to evaluate the antibacterial activity of different ANEOs. The antibacterial mechanism was revealed by crystal violet staining, XTT reduction, microbial adhesion to hydrocarbon test, extracellular polysaccharide production assay, glucosyltransferase activity assay, lactate dehydrogenase leaking, propidium iodide staining and scanning electron microscopy (SEM). The cytotoxicity of ANEOs was determine by MTT assay.

RESULTS: The ANEOs separated at different temperatures exhibited different levels of antibacterial activity against S. mutans, and the ANEO separated at 70°C showed the most prominent bacteriostatic activity. Anti-biofilm experiments showed that the ANEOs attenuated the adhesion ability of S. mutans by decreasing the surface hydrophobicity of the bacteria, prevented S. mutans biofilm formation by inhibiting glucosyltransferase activity, reducing extracellular polysaccharide synthesis, and reducing the total biofilm biomass and activity. SEM further demonstrated the destructive effects of the ANEOs on the S. mutans biofilm. Cell membrane-related experiments indicated that the ANEOs destroyed the integrity of the cell membrane, resulting in the leakage of lactic dehydrogenase and nucleic acids. SEM imaging of S. mutans cell showed the disruption of the cellular morphology by the ANEOs. The cytotoxicity assay suggested that ANEO was non-toxic towards normal oral epithelial cells.

DISCUSSION: This study displayed that ANEOs exerted antibacterial activity against S. mutans primarily by affecting the biofilm and disrupting the integrity of the cell membrane. ANEOs has the potential to be developed as an antibacterial agent for preventing dental caries. Additionally, a new method for the separation of essential oil components is presented.

PMID:37701779 | PMC:PMC10494717 | DOI:10.3389/fcimb.2023.1140689


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