JoVE Logo
Faculty Resource Center

Sign In





Representative Results





Immunology and Infection

Curcuminoid-Mediated Antimicrobial Photodynamic Therapy on a Murine Model of Oral Candidiasis

Published: October 27th, 2023



1Department of Dental Materials and Prosthodontics, School of Dentistry, Araraquara, São Paulo State University (UNESP), 2Department of Social Dentistry, School of Dentistry, Araraquara, São Paulo State University (UNESP)

This protocol describes the application of antimicrobial Photodynamic Therapy (aPDT) in a murine model of oral candidiasis. aPDT was performed using a water-soluble mixture of curcuminoids and blue LED light.

Antimicrobial Photodynamic Therapy (aPDT) has been extensively investigated in vitro, and preclinical animal models of infections are suitable for evaluating alternative treatments prior to clinical trials. This study describes the efficacy of aPDT in a murine model of oral candidiasis. Forty mice were immunosuppressed with subcutaneous injections of prednisolone, and their tongues were inoculated using an oral swab previously soaked in a C. albicans cell suspension. Tetracycline was administered via drinking water during the course of the experiment. Five days after fungal inoculation, mice were randomly distributed into eight groups; a ninth group of untreated uninfected mice was included as a negative control (n = 5). Three concentrations (20 µM, 40 µM, and 80 µM) of a mixture of curcuminoids were tested with a blue LED light (89.2 mW/cm2; ~455 nm) and without light (C+L+ and C+L- groups, respectively). Light alone (C-L+), no treatment (C-L-), and animals without infection were evaluated as controls. Data were analyzed using Welch's ANOVA and Games-Howell tests (α = 0.05). Oral candidiasis was established in all infected animals and visualized macroscopically through the presence of characteristic white patches or pseudomembranes on the dorsum of the tongues. Histopathological sections confirmed a large presence of yeast and filaments limited to the keratinized layer of the epithelium in the C-L- group, and the presence of fungal cells was visually decreased in the images obtained from mice subjected to aPDT with either 40 µM or 80 µM curcuminoids. aPDT mediated by 80 µM curcuminoids promoted a 2.47 log10 reduction in colony counts in comparison to those in the C-L- group (p = 0.008). All other groups showed no statistically significant reduction in the number of colonies, including photosensitizer (C+L-) or light alone (C-L+) groups. Curcuminoid-mediated aPDT reduced the fungal load from the tongues of mice.

Oral candidiasis (OC) is the main fungal infection of the oral cavity; it is caused by the overgrowth of Candida spp. Predisposing factors for OC include endocrine dysfunction, the use of broad-spectrum antibiotics, radio- and chemotherapy, nutritional deficiencies, xerostomia (low salivary flow), denture use, poor hygiene, and, especially, immunosuppression1. Among Candida species, Candida albicans is the most prevalent and virulent one; it is found as a commensal species in the human body and as an opportunistic pathogen. C. albicans has the ability to change its morphology from commensal yeasts (blastopore....

Log in or to access full content. Learn more about your institution’s access to JoVE content here

The research protocol for the use of mice was approved by the Ethics Committee for Animal Use (case numbers 05/2008 and 09/2020) at the School of Dentistry, Araraquara, UNESP. C. albicans (ATCC 90028) was used as the reference strain. Six-week-old female Swiss mice (n = 45), with a body mass range of 20-30 g, were used for the present study. The animals were provided by São Paulo State University, UNESP, Botucatu.

1. Preparation of PS and selection of the light source for a.......

Log in or to access full content. Learn more about your institution’s access to JoVE content here

The murine model of OC showed typical white patches and pseudomembranes on the tongue of all infected mice (Figure 4A). C. albicans recovered from C-L- animals confirmed tissue colonization by this microorganism (values ranged from 1.62 x 104 to 4.80 x 105 CFU/mL). As expected, animals from the NCtr group did not show any tissue alterations or colony growth after sampling (Figure 4B).

aPDT decreased the .......

Log in or to access full content. Learn more about your institution’s access to JoVE content here

C. albicans has been associated with oral and esophageal infections in individuals with an immunocompromised state, diabetes mellitus, prolonged use of antibiotics, and poor oral hygiene1,3. The study of human infectious diseases requires both in vitro and in vivo investigations before clinical trials can be safely and accurately designed. The present study describes a method for establishing a murine model of OC, which can be used to e.......

Log in or to access full content. Learn more about your institution’s access to JoVE content here

The authors thank the financial support from FAPESP (São Paulo Research Foundation, process number FAPESP #2013/07276-1 (CePID CePOF) and 2008/00601-6. We also thank Dr. Ana Paula Silva for providing the information about the CUR-based water-soluble salt. 


Log in or to access full content. Learn more about your institution’s access to JoVE content here

NameCompanyCatalog NumberComments
C. albicansATCC (Rockville, Md, USA)90028Used to prepare the Candida inoculum
Centrifuge Eppendorf Centrifuge 5804/5804R,B. Braun, Melsungen, Hesse, Germany022628146 (NA)Used to prepare the Candida inoculum
Chlorpromazine chloride 2 mg/mLCompounding pharmacy, Araraquara, SP, Brazil -  Used to sedate animals during candida inoculation
Curcumin-based water-soluble saltPDTPharma, Cravinhos, Brazil - Consisting of 53.4% of natural curcumin, and  46.6% of other curcuminoids (demethoxycurcumin and bis-demethoxycurcumin). Prepared in water and N-MethylD-Glucamine (final average molecular weight of 730.32 g.mol−1)
Digital colony counterCP 600 Plus, Phoenix Ind Com Equipamentos Científicos Ltda, Araraquara, SP, Brazil - Used to count colonies on agar plates
Extruded mouse chowBenelab food, Industry Qualy Animal Nutrition and Commerce Ltda., Lindóia, São Paulo State, Brazil. -Used for the feeding of the mice
Ketamine Hydrochloride 10%Ketamina Agener, União Química Farmacêutica Nacional S/A, Embu-Guaçu, SP, Brazil - Used to anesthetize animals before  treatments and for euthanasia
Light-emitting diode handpiece (prototype)Instituto de Física de São Carlos, University of São Paulo, São Carlos, SP, Brazil - Fabricated with LXHL-PR09, Luxeon III Emitter, Lumileds Lighting, San Jose, California, USA
Methylprednisolone acetate 40 mgDEPO-MEDROL, Pfizer, New York - Used as an immunosuppressant
MicrotomeLeica Microsystems, Bannockburn, IL, USASM2500Used to cut the serial sections of the tongues
Propylene boxes (cages housing) H13 x L20 x D30 cmBonther Equipaments, Ribeirão Preto, SP, Brazil - Used to keep the animals throughout  the experimental period
Sabouraud Dextrose Agar with ChloramphenicolHiMedia, Mumbai, IndiaMM1067-500GCulture medium for yeast growth (agar)
SpectrophotometerSpectrophotometer Kasvi K37-VIS , São José dos Pinhais, PR, BrazilK37-VIS Used to standardize the inoculum concentration
Tetracycline hydrochloride Compounding pharmacy, Araraquara, SP, Brazil - Antibiotic given to induce oral dysbiosis
Wood shavingsJ.R. Wood Shavings, Comerce of Sawdust Ltda., Conchal, São Paulo State, Brazil -Used for floor covering inside the housing boxes
Xylazine 2%Calmiun, União Química Farmacêutica Nacional S/A, Embu-Guaçu, SP, Brazil - Used in combination with ketamine for anesthesia
Yeast Nitrogen Broth Difco, InterLab, Detroit, MI, USADF0919-07-3 Culture medium for yeast growth (broth)
Yeast Peptone Dextrose BrothNutriSelect Basic, Sigma AldrichY1375Culture medium for maintaining the strains at -80°C and grow

  1. Vila, T., Sultan, A. S., Montelongo-Jauregui, D., Jabra-Rizk, M. A. Oral candidiasis: a disease of opportunity. Journal of fungi (Basel, Switzerland). 6 (1), 15 (2020).
  2. Sudbery, P. E. Growth of Candida albicans hyphae. Nature Reviews Microbiology. 9 (10), 737-748 (2011).
  3. Moyes, D. L., Richardson, J. P., Naglik, J. R. Candida albicans-epithelial interactions and pathogenicity mechanisms: scratching the surface. Virulence. 6 (4), 338-346 (2015).
  4. Lopes, J. P., Lionakis, M. S. Pathogenesis and virulence of Candida albicans. Virulence. 13 (1), 89-121 (2022).
  5. Quindós, G., et al. Therapeutic tools for oral candidiasis: Current and new antifungal drugs. Medicina oral, patologia oral y cirugia buccal. 24 (2), e172-e180 (2019).
  6. Nishimoto, A. T., Sharma, C., Rogers, P. D. Molecular and genetic basis of azole antifungal resistance in the opportunistic pathogenic fungus Candida albicans. Journal of Antimicrobial Chemotherapy. 75 (2), 257-270 (2020).
  7. Gholami, L., Shahabi, S., Jazaeri, M., Hadilou, M., Fekrazad, R. Clinical applications of antimicrobial photodynamic therapy in dentistry. Frontiers in Microbiology. 13, 1020995 (2013).
  8. Trigo-Gutierrez, J. K., Vega-Chacón, Y., Soares, A. B., Mima, E. G. O. Antimicrobial activity of curcumin in nanoformulations: a comprehensive review. International Journal of Molecular Sciences. 22 (13), 7130 (2021).
  9. Santezi, C., Reina, B. D., Dovigo, L. N. Curcumin-mediated Photodynamic Therapy for the treatment of oral infections-A review. Photodiagnosis and Photodynamic Therapy. 21, 409-415 (2018).
  10. Dovigo, L. N., et al. Curcumin-mediated photodynamic inactivation of Candida albicans in a murine model of oral candidiasis. Medical Mycology. 51 (3), 243-251 (2013).
  11. Zangirolami, A. C., Carbinatto, F., Filho, J. D. V., Bagnato, V. S., Blanco, K. C. Impact of light-activated curcumin and curcuminoids films for catheters decontamination. Colloids and SurfacesB: Biointerfaces. 213, 112386 (2022).
  12. Santezi, C., Tanomaru, J. M., Bagnato, V. S., Júnior, O. B., Dovigo, L. N. Potential of curcumin-mediated photodynamic inactivation to reduce oral colonization. Photodiagnosis Photodynamic Therapy. 15, 46-52 (2016).
  13. Takakura, N., et al. A novel murine model of oral candidiasis with local symptoms characteristic of oral thrush. Microbiology and immunology. 47 (5), 321-326 (2003).
  14. Mima, E. G., et al. Susceptibility of Candida albicans to photodynamic therapy in a murine model of oral candidosis. OralSurgery, Oral Medicine, Oral Pathology, Oral Radiology and Endodontology. 109, 392-401 (2010).
  15. Solis, N. V., Filler, S. G. Mouse model of oropharyngeal candidiasis. Nature Protocol. 7 (4), 637-642 (2012).
  16. Marôco, J. . Análise Estatística com o SPSS Statistics 25. , (2018).
  17. Naglik, J. R., Fidel, P. L., Odds, F. C. Animal models of mucosal Candida infection. FEMS Microbiology Letters. 283 (2), 129-139 (2008).
  18. Samaranayake, Y. H., Samaranayake, L. P. Experimental oral candidiasis in animal models. Clinical Microbiology Reviews. 14, 398-429 (2001).
  19. Chamilos, G., Lionakis, M. S., Lewis, R. E., Kontoyiannis, D. P. Role of mini-host models in the study of medically important fungi. The Lancet Infectious Diseases. 7, 42-55 (2007).
  20. Carmello, J. C., et al. Treatment of oral candidiasis using Photodithazine- mediated photodynamic therapy in vivo. PLoS One. 11 (6), e0156947 (2016).
  21. Sakima, V. T., et al. Antimicrobial photodynamic therapy mediated by curcumin-loaded polymeric nanoparticles in a murine model of oral candidiasis. Molecules. 23 (8), 2075 (2018).
  22. Abe, S., et al. A glucocorticoid antagonist, mifepristone affects anti-Candida activity of murine neutrophils in the presence of prednisolone in vitro and experimental candidiasis of prednisolone-treated mice in vivo. FEMS Immunology and Medical Microbiology. 13 (4), 311-316 (1996).
  23. Jones, J. H., Russell, C., Young, C., Owen, D. Tetracycline and the colonization and infection of the mouths of germ-free and conventionalized rats with Candida albicans. Journal Antimicrobial Chemotherapy. 2 (3), 247-253 (1976).
  24. Russell, C., Jones, J. H. Effects of oral inoculation of Candida albicans in tetracycline-treated rats. Journal of Medical Microbiology. 6 (3), 275-279 (1973).
  25. Teichert, M. C., Jones, J. W., Usacheva, M. N., Biel, M. A. Treatment of oral candidiasis with methylene blue- mediated photodynamic therapy in an immunodeficient murine model. OralSurgery, Medicine, Pathology, Radiology and Endodontology. 93, 155-160 (2002).
  26. Totti, M. G. A., Santos, E. B., Almeida, O. P., Koga-Ito, C. Y., Jorge, A. O. C. Oral candidosis by Candida albicans in normal and xerostomic mice. Brazilian Oral Research. 18, 202-207 (2004).
  27. Hidalgo, K. J. R., et al. Antimicrobial photodynamic therapy in combination with nystatin in the treatment of experimental oral candidiasis induced by Candida albicans resistant to fluconazole. Pharmaceuticals (Basel). 12 (3), E140 (2019).

This article has been published

Video Coming Soon

JoVE Logo


Terms of Use





Copyright © 2024 MyJoVE Corporation. All rights reserved