Browsing by Author "Uittamo, Johanna"

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  • Uittamo, Johanna (Helsingin yliopisto, 2012)
    Oral cancer is the seventh most common cancer worldwide and its incidence is increasing. The most important risk factors for oral cancer are chronic alcohol consumption and tobacco smoking, up to 80 % of oral carcinomas are estimated to be caused by alcohol and tobacco. They both trigger an increased level of salivary acetaldehyde, during and after consumption, which is believed to lead to carcinogenesis. Acetaldehyde has multiple mutagenic features and it has recently been classified as a Group 1 carcinogen for humans by the International Agency for Research on Cancer. Acetaldehyde is metabolized from ethanol by microbes of oral microbiota. Some oral microbes possess alcohol dehydrogenase enzyme (ADH) activity, which is the main enzyme in acetaldehyde production. Many microbes are also capable of acetaldehyde production via alcohol fermentation from glucose. However, metabolism of ethanol into acetaldehyde leads to production of high levels of this carcinogen. Acetaldehyde is found in saliva during and after alcohol consumption. In fact, rather low ethanol concentrations (2-20mM) derived from blood to saliva are enough for microbial acetaldehyde production. The high acetaldehyde levels in saliva after alcohol challenge are explained by the lack of oral microbiota and mucosa to detoxify acetaldehyde by metabolizing it into acetate and acetyl coenzymeA. The aim of this thesis project was to specify the role of oral microbes in the in vitro production of acetaldehyde in the presence of ethanol. In addition, it was sought to establish whether microbial metabolism could also produce acetaldehyde from glucose. Furthermore, the potential of xylitol to inhibit ethanol metabolism and acetaldehyde production was explored. Isolates of oral microbes were used in the first three studies. Acetaldehyde production was analyzed after ethanol, glucose and fructose incubation with gas chromatography measurement. In studies I and III, the ADH enzyme activity of some microbes was measured by fluorescence. The effect of xylitol was analyzed by incubating microbes with ethanol and xylitol. The fourth study was made ex vivo and microbial samples obtained from different patient groups were analyzed. This work has demonstrated that isolates of oral microbiota are able to produce acetaldehyde in the presence of clinically relevant ethanol and glucose concentrations. Significant differences were found between microbial species and isolates from different patient groups. In particular, the ability of candidal isolates from APECED patients to produce significantly more acetaldehyde in glucose incubation compared to healthy and cancer patient isolates is an interesting observation. Moreover, xylitol was found to reduce their acetaldehyde production significantly. Significant ADH enzyme activity was found in the analyzed high acetaldehyde producing streptococci and candida isolates. In addition, xylitol was found to reduce the ADH enzyme activity of C. albicans. Some results from the ex vivo study were controversial, since acetaldehyde production did not correlate as expected with the amount of microbes in the samples. Nevertheless, the samples isolated from patients did produce significant amounts of acetaldehyde with a clinically relevant ethanol concentration.