Expression of Secreted Aspartyl Proteinases in an Experimental Model ofCandida albicans-Associated Denture Stomatitis

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Candida albicans is known to produce secreted aspartyl proteinases (SAPs) to aid adhesion, invasion, and host tissue destruction. SAPs may contribute to denture stomatitis (DS) pathogenesis. The aim of this study was to develop an in vivo experimental model for Candida-associated DS that allows the analysis of SAP2, SAP5, and SAP9 expression by C. albicans from biofilm induced on the denture surface.

Materials and Methods:

Thirty-five male Wistar rats were divided into three groups: control, denture, and denture/Candida group. The last two groups remained with dentures for 2, 4, and 6 days, with or without induced biofilm. SAP expression was concomitant with leukocyte counts as well as clinical and histological changes shown by animal palate.


The signs observed at 4 days in the denture/Candida group were clinically closer to the Candida-associated DS, showing a significant increase of neutrophils and decrease of lymphocytes in peripheral blood, presence of inflammation signs on the palate similar to DS Newton type I, and fungal invasion in the epithelial layer. Accordingly, the denture/Candida group at 4 days presented the highest relative expression of all SAPs studied.


The results showed a coincidence between SAP expression and clinical, microscopic, and blood data. Finally, the molecular findings were consistent with the virulence capacities of C. albicans from biofilm formed on the denture resin, which possibly allowed epithelial invasion by the fungus.

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