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Int J Oral Biol. 2011 Mar;36(1):7-11. English. Original Article.
Kim MJ , Kim CS , Park JY , Lim YK , Park SN , Ahn SJ , Jin DC , Kim TH , Kook JK .
Department of Oral Biochemistry and Oral Biology Research Institute, School of Dentistry, Chosun University, Gwangju 501-759, Korea.
Department of Biochemistry and Molecular Biology, Medical School, Chosun University, Gwangju 501-759, Korea.
Dental Research Institute and Department of Orthodontics, College of Dentistry, Seoul National University, Seoul, 110-749, Korea.
Department of Veterinary Medicine, College of Agriculture, Yanbian University, Jilin Province, China.
Department of Restorative Sciences, Herman Ostrow School of Dentistry, University of Southern California, Los Angeles, CA 90089, USA.

Ursolic acid is a triterpenoid compound present in many plants. This study examined the antimicrobial activity of ursolic acid against mutans streptococci (MS) isolated from the Korean population. The antimicrobial activity was evaluated by the minimum inhibitory concentration (MIC) and time kill curves of MS. The cytotoxicity of ursolic acid against KB cells was tested using an MTT assay. The MIC90 values of ursolic acid for Streptococcus mutans and Streptococcus sobrinus isolated from the Korean population were 2 microg/ml and 4 microg/ml, respectively. Ursolic acid had a bactericidal effect on S. mutans ATCC 25175T and S. sobrinus ATCC 33478T at > 2 x MIC (4 microg/ml) and 4 x MIC (8 microg/ml), respectively. Ursolic acid had no cytotoxic effect on KB cells at concentrations at which it exerted antimicrobial effects. The results suggest that ursolic acid can be used in the development of oral hygiene products for the prevention of dental caries.

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