Effects of long-term sub-lethal concentrations of dental monomers on THP-1 human monocytes

Carol A. Lefebvre, John C. Wataha, Serge Bouillaguet, Petra E. Lockwood

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

18 Scopus citations


Studies have shown that monomers from dental resins are acutely cytotoxic, but little is known of their long-term effects at sub-lethal concentrations. The current study determined the long-term effects of sub-lethal concentrations of TEGDMA (triethyleneglycol dimethacrylate) and Bis-GMA (bisphenol-glycidylmethacrylate), two common dental monomers, on the in vitro cellular proliferation, succinic dehydrogenase activity, and total cellular protein production of monocytes. Human THP-1 monocytes were exposed to concentrations of 100, 200, and 400 μmol l-1 of TEGDMA or 1, 5, and 25 μmol l-1 Bis-GMA for 5 weeks. Controls received only vehicle solutions of ethanol. Each week cellular proliferation (hemocytometer), succinic dehydrogenase (SDH) activity (MTT) and total cellular protein (bicinchoninic acid) were assessed. The results were compared with ANOVA and Tukey intervals (α =0.05). TEDGMA had no proliferative or cellular protein effects, but increased SDH activity 20-60% in week 1 (p < 0.05). SDH activity then decreased 40% in week 2, followed by a gradual increase of 30-40% over week 3-5 (p < 0.05). Bis-GMA reduced proliferation by 40-60% from 1-5 weeks exposure (p < 0.05). However, SDH activity and total protein per cell were not affected. There was some indication of increased SDH activity after 5 weeks (20-30%, p < 0.05). Sub-lethal concentrations of TEGDMA and Bis-GMA have significant long-term effects on monocytes at low-dose 5-week exposures in vitro. Each monomer acted differently.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)1265-1274
Number of pages10
JournalJournal of Biomaterials Science, Polymer Edition
Issue number12
StatePublished - Jan 1 1999


  • Biocompatibility
  • Bis-GMA
  • Dental resins
  • Monocytes

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Biophysics
  • Bioengineering
  • Biomaterials
  • Biomedical Engineering


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