Antimicrobial activity of magnolol and honokiol against periodontopathic microorganisms

Planta Med. 1998 May;64(4):367-9. doi: 10.1055/s-2006-957453.


Magnolol (1) and honokiol (2), main compounds from the stem bark of Magnolia obovata Thunb., were evaluated for an antimicrobial activity against periodontopathic microorganisms, Porphyromonas gingivalis, Prevotella gingivalis, Actinobacillus actinomycetemcomitans, Capnocytophaga gingivalis, and Veillonella disper, and a cytotoxicity against human gingival fibroblasts and epithelial cells. Our results indicate that magnolol and honokiol, although less potent than chlorhexidine, show a significant antimicrobial activity against these microorganisms, and a relatively low cytotoxic effect on human gingival cells. Thus, it is suggested that magnolol and honokiol may have a potential therapeutic use as a safe oral antiseptic for the prevention and the treatment of periodontal disease.

Publication types

  • Letter
  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Aggregatibacter actinomycetemcomitans / drug effects
  • Anti-Bacterial Agents / pharmacology*
  • Biphenyl Compounds / pharmacology*
  • Capnocytophaga / drug effects
  • Cells, Cultured
  • Epithelial Cells / drug effects
  • Fibroblasts / drug effects
  • Gingiva / cytology
  • Gingiva / drug effects
  • Gingiva / microbiology*
  • Humans
  • Lignans*
  • Porphyromonas gingivalis / drug effects
  • Prevotella / drug effects
  • Veillonella / drug effects


  • Anti-Bacterial Agents
  • Biphenyl Compounds
  • Lignans
  • magnolol
  • honokiol