Calcified tissue international

Carbohydrate-controlled precipitation of apatite with coprecipitation of organic molecules in human saliva: stabilizing role of polyols.

PMID 2501008


Addition of common dietary carbohydrates to Millipore-treated human whole saliva either enhances or inhibits the formation of salivary precipitates, some carbohydrates showing no effect. The purpose of this study was to investigate the precipitation conditions more thoroughly and to elucidate the chemical nature of the precipitates formed. D-Xylose either enhanced precipitation (in long-term incubations) or had no appreciable effect (in 10 minute incubations). Other aldo- and keto-sugars and disaccharides (maltose, sucrose, lactose) generally enhanced precipitation, whereas all polyols (xylitol, D-sorbitol, mannitol, and maltitol) retarded the formation of turbidity in saliva. Xylitol inhibited formation of precipitates also in the presence of D-xylose, dextrans, and starch. Fast protein liquid chromatography (FPLC) of EDTA-soluble pellets obtained by centrifugation of the precipitates produced two major protein fractions (I and II) with a molecular weight of 112,000 and 46,000, respectively. The carbohydrates exerted a selective effect on the relative size of I and II in that polyol incubations resulted in a I to II ratio of 1:3, whereas control incubations (without added sugars) and incubations with other carbohydrates gave ratios of 1:6 to 1:10. Both peaks contained large amounts of acidic amino acids, proline, and glycine. The saliva precipitates contained a substantial portion of a crystalline phase that had the crystal structure of apatite, the individual crystallites being extremely small (less than 1 micron) with a Ca:P ratio of 1.46. The carbohydrates had a similar effect on the overall inorganic composition of the precipitates, but they had a clearly selective effect on the rate of formation of precipitates and on the relative amount of coprecipitating salivary proteins. This selectivity indicates that these carbohydrates, when consumed habitually, may exert different effects on the precipitation of Ca-salts at mineral-deficient enamel and dentine sites.

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