Reactions of dental pulp to hydrogen peroxide photolysis-based antimicrobial chemotherapy under ultraviolet-A irradiation in rats

Keisuke Nakamura, Midori Shirato, Shunichi Shishido, Yoshimi Niwano, Taro Kanno, Keiichi Sasaki, Peter Lingström, Ulf Örtengren

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Hydrogen peroxide photolysis-based antimicrobial chemotherapy that utilizes ultraviolet-A irradiation (UVA-H2O2 photolysis) has been previously proposed as a method of treatment of cariogenic biofilm. Therefore, in the present study, we aimed to assess time-dependent reactions in the dental pulp of rats after UVA-H2O2 photolysis. Maxillary first molars were treated. UVA irradiation (wavelength: 365 nm) with 3 wt% H2O2 was performed for 90 s at a radiant emittance of 500–2000 mW/cm2 on the rats for 3 consecutive days or only 1 day. The animals were sacrificed at Days 1, 3, 7, and 21 after the treatment for the histological evaluation of inflammatory cells and immunohistochemistry of heat shock protein (HSP)-25, a marker of odontoblasts. Tertiary dentin formation was evaluated at Day 21 by histomorphometry and micro-CT analysis. UVA-H2O2 photolysis elicited little infiltration of inflammatory cells, but disturbances in the odontoblast layer and/or presence of localized degenerative tissue were observed on Day 3. This condition was followed by a healing process that was characterized by the reappearance of HSP-25 positive odontoblast-like cells at Day 7 and tertiary dentin formation at Day 21. The amount of tertiary dentin formed was dependent on the intensity of treatment; repeated UVA irradiations of H2O2 at 2000 mW/cm2 resulted in the largest amount of tertiary dentin formation at the pulp horn regions. Our findings suggest that UVA-H2O2 photolysis treatment can be used to treat dental caries clinically because the post-treatment inflammatory reaction was minimal and tertiary dentin formation was substantial, which may prove effective in protecting dental pulp from external irritants. As a cautionary consideration, the radiant emittance of the UVA irradiation should be carefully optimized before clinical application.

Original languageEnglish
Article number112042
JournalJournal of Photochemistry and Photobiology B: Biology
Publication statusPublished - 2020 Nov


  • Antimicrobial chemotherapy
  • Dental pulp
  • Hydrogen peroxide
  • Photolysis
  • Tertiary dentin
  • UVA


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