Purpose: Since NaOCl acts as a strong oxidizing agent and presents potential toxicity, this study was adressed to evaluate the in-vitro safety of NaOCl solutions at concentrations below the limit of patient tolerance, i.e. ≥ 0.5%.
Keywords: periodontitis, primary gingival fibroblasts, sodium hypochlorite, toxicity
Materials and Methods: First, an in-silico evaluation was conducted to predict the potential toxicity of NaOCl in terms of mutagenic, tumorigenic, irritant, and reproductive risks, as well as some drug-like properties of the molecule. The in-vitro experiments were based on 2D and 3D models. For the 2D approach, two selected cell lines – HaCaT (human skin keratinocytes) and HGF (human gingival fibroblasts) – were exposed to NaOCl at five concentrations (0.05 – 0.5%) for 10, 30, and 60 s to simulate possible clinical administration. The irritative potential of NaOCl 0.05% and 0.25% was assessed in a 3D in-vitro model (EpiDerm, reconstructed human epidermis). Statistical significance was set at p < 0.05.
Results: The main findings suggest that NaOCl exerts cytotoxicity towards HaCaT immortalised keratinocytes and HGF primary gingival fibroblasts in a cell type-, dose- and time-dependent manner, with the most prominent effect being recorded in HaCaT cells after 60 s of treatment with NaOCl 0.5%. However, NaOCl was computationally predicted as free of mutagenic, tumorigenic, irritant, and reproductive toxicity, and showed no irritative potential in 3D reconstructed epidermis at concentrations of 0.05% and 0.25%.
Conclusion: Further clinical and histological studies are required to confirm these results, as well as elucidate the potential cytotoxic mechanism induced by NaOCl in HaCaT and HGF cells at the tested concentrations.