Though readers of this blog must be overall proud of their dental hygiene, undoubtedly many have had root canals that have been plugged using traditional fillings. The procedure is far from being everyone’s favorite past time, as only true masochists can enjoy having high speed drills working their teeth and hot glue guns filling them. A team of French researchers has been working on a new approach that uses nanostructured and functionalized multilayered films to help regenerate teeth and fill in cavities with little pain but all the gain.
From the abstract in ACS NANO:
Melanocortin peptides (α-MSH) possess anti-inflammatory properties in many acute and chronic inflammatory models. Our recent studies have shown that α-MSH covalently coupled to poly-l-glutamic acid (PGA-α-MSH) retains anti-inflammatory properties on rat monocytes. This study aimed to define the effects of PGA-α-MSH on dental pulp fibroblasts. Lipopolysaccharide (LPS)-stimulated fibroblasts incubated with PGA-α-MSH showed an early time-dependent inhibition of TNF-α, a late induction of IL-10, and no effect on IL-8 secretion. However, in the absence of LPS, PGA-α-MSH induced IL-8 secretion and proliferation of pulp fibroblasts, whereas free α-MSH inhibited this proliferation. Thus, PGA-α-MSH has potential effects in promoting human pulp fibroblast adhesion and cell proliferation. It can also reduce the inflammatory state of LPS-stimulated pulp fibroblasts observed in gram-negative bacterial infections. These effects suggest a novel use of PGA-α-MSH as an anti-inflammatory agent in the treatment of endodontic lesions.