Natural Antimicrobials in the Dental Pulp

Fionnuala T. Lundy*, Christopher R. Irwin, Denise F. McLean, Gerard J. Linden, Ikhlas A. El Karim

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

10 Citations (Scopus)


Introduction: Like many tissues, the dental pulp is equipped with innate and adaptive immune responses, designed to defend against infection and limit its spread. The pulp's innate immune response includes the synthesis and release of antimicrobial peptides by several dental pulp cell types. These naturally-occurring antimicrobial peptides have broad spectrum activity against bacteria, fungi and viruses. There is a resurgence of interest in the bioactivities of naturally-occurring antimicrobial peptides, largely driven by the need to develop alternatives to antibiotics. Methods: This narrative review focused on the general properties of antimicrobial peptides, providing an overview of their sources and actions within the dental pulp. Results: We summarized the relevance of antimicrobial peptides in defending the dental pulp, highlighting the potential for many of these antimicrobials to be modified or mimicked for prospective therapeutic use. Conclusion: Antimicrobial peptides and novel peptide-based therapeutics are particularly attractive as emerging treatments for polymicrobial infections, such as endodontic infections, because of their broad activity against a range of pathogens.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)S2-S9
JournalJournal of Endodontics
Issue numbersupplement of issue 9
Publication statusPublished - 01 Sept 2020


  • Antimicrobial peptides
  • dental pulp
  • host defense peptide
  • human
  • peptoid

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • General Dentistry


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