Cytotoxicity evaluation of Persica mouthwash on cultured human and mouse cell lines in the presence and absence of fetal calf serum

Indian J Dent Res. 2009 Apr-Jun;20(2):169-73. doi: 10.4103/0970-9290.52894.


Background and aims: The effectiveness of an ideal antimicrobial agent depends on its ability to kill microbes while causing minimal toxicity to host cells. Several studies have been reported on the antimicrobial effects of chewing sticks (Salvadora persica) on oral bacteria. The purpose of this study was to evaluate the cytotoxic effects of Persica and chlorhexidine (CHX) mouthwashes on cultured human and mouse cell lines.

Materials and methods: This was an experimental study. The toxic effects of four dilutions of Persica and CHX mouthwashes on KB, Saos-2, J744 A1, and gingival fibroblast cells were evaluated by MTT [3-(4,5-dimethylthiazol-2-yl)-2,5-diphenyl tetrazolium bromide] assay. The effect of fetal calf serum (FCS) components on the cytotoxicity of these mouthwashes was also investigated.

Statistical analysis: Analysis of variance and the Kruskal-Wallis test were used to evaluate the results.

Results: The results indicated that Persica , at concentrations higher than 0.1%, exerted a very significant cytotoxic effect on all the cell lines (P < or = 0.01). CHX, at a concentration of 0.001%, exerted toxic effects only on gingival fibroblasts; concentrations higher than 0.001% were required to produce significant cell death in the other cell lines. At all the concentrations under study, both Persica and CHX exerted significantly greater cytotoxic effects in the absence of FCS than in its presence (i.e., in control culture medium). The toxicities of both mouthwashes were attenuated in the presence of FCS (10%).

Conclusion: Our results indicate that both Persica and CHX mouthwashes are toxic to macrophage, epithelial, fibroblast, and osteoblast cells in a concentration-dependent manner.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Animals
  • Anti-Infective Agents, Local / administration & dosage
  • Anti-Infective Agents, Local / toxicity*
  • Carcinoma / pathology
  • Cell Death / drug effects
  • Cell Line
  • Cell Line, Tumor
  • Cell Proliferation / drug effects
  • Chlorhexidine / administration & dosage
  • Chlorhexidine / toxicity*
  • Colorimetry
  • Coloring Agents
  • Culture Media
  • Culture Media, Serum-Free
  • Dose-Response Relationship, Drug
  • Epithelial Cells / drug effects
  • Fibroblasts / drug effects
  • Gingiva / cytology
  • Gingiva / drug effects
  • Humans
  • Macrophages / drug effects
  • Male
  • Mice
  • Mouthwashes / administration & dosage
  • Mouthwashes / toxicity*
  • Osteoblastoma / pathology
  • Osteoblasts / drug effects
  • Plant Extracts / administration & dosage
  • Plant Extracts / toxicity*
  • Salvadoraceae*
  • Serum
  • Tetrazolium Salts
  • Thiazoles


  • Anti-Infective Agents, Local
  • Coloring Agents
  • Culture Media
  • Culture Media, Serum-Free
  • Mouthwashes
  • Plant Extracts
  • Tetrazolium Salts
  • Thiazoles
  • thiazolyl blue
  • Chlorhexidine