Differential cytotoxicity of long-chain bases for human oral gingival epithelial keratinocytes, oral fibroblasts, and dendritic cells

Christopher Poulsen, Leslie A. Mehalick, Carol L. Fischer, Emily A. Lanzel, Amber M. Bates, Katherine S. Walters, Joseph E. Cavanaugh, Janet M. Guthmiller, Georgia K. Johnson, Philip W. Wertz, Kim A. Brogden

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

8 Scopus citations


Long-chain bases are present in the oral cavity. Previously we determined that sphingosine, dihydrosphingosine, and phytosphingosine have potent antimicrobial activity against oral pathogens. Here, we determined the cytotoxicities of long-chain bases for oral cells, an important step in considering their potential as antimicrobial agents for oral infections. This information would clearly help in establishing prophylactic or therapeutic doses. To assess this, human oral gingival epithelial (GE) keratinocytes, oral gingival fibroblasts (GF), and dendritic cells (DC) were exposed to 10.0-640.0μM long-chain bases and glycerol monolaurate (GML). The effects of long-chain bases on cell metabolism (conversion of resazurin to resorufin), membrane permeability (uptake of propidium iodide or SYTOX-Green), release of cellular contents (LDH), and cell morphology (confocal microscopy) were all determined. GE keratinocytes were more resistant to long-chain bases as compared to GF and DC, which were more susceptible. For DC, 0.2-10.0μM long-chain bases and GML were not cytotoxic; 40.0-80.0μM long-chain bases, but not GML, were cytotoxic; and 80.0μM long-chain bases induced cellular damage and death in less than 20min. The LD50 of long-chain bases for GE keratinocytes, GF, and DC were considerably higher than their minimal inhibitory concentrations for oral pathogens, a finding important to pursuing their future potential in treating periodontal and oral infections.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)21-29
Number of pages9
JournalToxicology Letters
Issue number1
StatePublished - Aug 9 2015


  • Cytotoxicity
  • Dendritic cells
  • Dihydrosphingosine
  • Glycerol monolaurate
  • Human oral gingival epithelial keratinocytes
  • Oral gingival fibroblasts
  • Oral squamous cell carcinoma cells
  • Phytosphingosine
  • Sphingosine

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Toxicology


Dive into the research topics of 'Differential cytotoxicity of long-chain bases for human oral gingival epithelial keratinocytes, oral fibroblasts, and dendritic cells'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this