This study describes the successful synthesis of nitric oxide (NO)-releasing compounds with biodegradable and injectable properties and demonstrates that the kinetics of NO release vary according to the type of NO donor. The antimicrobial activity of NO-releasing compounds against three common periodontal pathogens, i.e., Aggregatibacter actinomycetemcomitans, Porphyromonas gingivalis, and Actinomyces israelii, was investigated using a susceptibility assay. Human gingival fibroblasts were treated with NO-releasing compounds at the minimum concentrations required for bacterial growth and cytotoxicity was evaluated using the MTT cell proliferation assay. Our results suggest that NO-releasing compounds can be used topically to treat both gram-negative and gram-positive periodontal pathogens. Comparison of the antimicrobial activity and cytotoxicity assay results between the NO-releasing compounds revealed that an NO donor comprising a macromolecule without surface charge, a lower instantaneous NO concentration, and an adequate supply of NO were associated with a strong bactericidal effect and low cytotoxicity. NO-releasing compounds with these properties may be suitable for treatment of periodontitis.
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