Aim To determine the influence of root-end filling materials on specific cellular responses of gingival fibroblasts (GF).
Methodology The reactions of cells in contact with mineral trioxide aggregate (MTA), amalgam and a chemically inert titanium alloy were determined based on the assessment of prostaglandin (PGE2) release with and without arachidonic acid stimulation, protein and lactate synthesis, and cell proliferation. Cells cultured without test materials served as controls (100%).
Results The fibroblasts showed a highly significant decrease in protein synthesis when in contact with amalgam (61.8 ± 13.6%); MTA (91.2 ± 5.9%) and titanium (92.4 ± 4.7%) had little effect on this parameter. The rate of cell proliferation in contact with MTA (98.0 ± 1.6%) and titanium (97.9 ± 7.4%) was only slightly influenced and showed similar values to that of the controls after 96 h of incubation. On the contrary, a significant and continuous reduction in the rate of cell proliferation was observed for cells in contact with amalgam (61.0 ± 2.5%) after 96 h. No significant increases in lactate synthesis values were registered for any of the materials (MTA 101.8 ± 1.7%, titanium 94.8 ± 8.6% and amalgam 105.8 ± 10.3%). There was a significant decrease in PGE2 synthesis potential when cells were in contact with amalgam (85.2 ± 3.5%). In comparison to the controls, titanium and MTA resulted in an elevated level of cellular PGE2 synthesis (titanium: 131.6 ± 19.1%; MTA: 147.3 ± 18.9%). The cell cultures stimulated with arachidonic acid (10−5 m) showed no significant differences with any material (MTA: 88.8 ± 17.6%, titanium: 97.6 ± 14.4%, amalgam: 85.5 ± 16.8%).
Conclusions MTA demonstrated cellular responses similar to those of titanium. Amalgam showed an irritation rate higher than that of MTA and titanium.