Effects of extracts of miswak and derum on proliferation of Balb/C 3T3 fibroblasts and viability of cariogenic bacteria

Int J Dent Hyg. 2006 May;4(2):62-6. doi: 10.1111/j.1601-5037.2006.00149.x.


Objectives: This study examined the effects of extracts of two chewing sticks on proliferation of fibroblasts and viability of cariogenic bacteria.

Methods: Aqueous extracts of miswak (Salvadora persica; Arak tree) and derum (Juglans regia; walnut tree) were prepared and their effects investigated on growth of Balb/C 3T3 mouse fibroblasts by measuring the mitochondrial succinic dehydrogenase activity. Furthermore, the effects on the viability of various cariogenic bacteria (Streptococcus mutans, Streptococcus salivarius, Lactobacillus casei and Actinomyces viscosus) was also determined.

Results: The data revealed that Balb/C 3T3 fibroblasts exposed to aqueous extracts of miswak or derum showed an increase in cell proliferation by 156% and 255%, respectively, in comparison with controls (p < 0.0001). Furthermore, extracts from both miswak and derum had adverse effects on the growth of the cariogenic microorganisms, with derum having significantly greater antimicrobial effects than miswak and at much lower concentrations against all the bacteria tested. The most sensitive organisms were A. viscosus, followed by S. mutans, S. salivarius, with L. casei being the most resistant.

Conclusion: The results show that aqueous extracts of miswak and derum enhance the growth of fibroblasts and inhibit the growth of cariogenic bacteria, with the derum extract showing greater activity than miswak.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • 3T3 Cells
  • Actinomyces viscosus / drug effects
  • Animals
  • Bacteria, Anaerobic / drug effects*
  • Cariostatic Agents / pharmacology*
  • Cell Proliferation / drug effects
  • Fibroblasts / drug effects*
  • Juglans*
  • Lacticaseibacillus casei / drug effects
  • Mice
  • Mice, Inbred BALB C
  • Microbial Sensitivity Tests
  • Plant Extracts / pharmacology*
  • Salvadoraceae*
  • Streptococcus mutans / drug effects
  • Toothbrushing / instrumentation*


  • Cariostatic Agents
  • Plant Extracts