Funoran, a sulfated polysaccharide extracted from the seaweed Gloiopeltis furcata strongly inhibited the adsorption of mutans streptococci to saliva-coated hydroxyapatite (S-HA), but enhanced that of Streptococcus sanguis ATCC 10556 and Streptococcus oralis ATCC 10557. Furthermore, funoran had a strong desorption activity against mutans streptococci preadsorbed to S-HA. In the presence of sucrose, the adsorption of cells of Streptococcus sobrinus B13, Streptococcus mutans Ingbritt, and S. mutans MT8148R to S-HA was strongly inhibited by 0.01% funoran. The colonization of S. sobrinus 6715 inoculated on the molar teeth of experimental rats that were administered funoran was less frequent than that in a funoran-free group. The mean buccal and lingual, sulcal, and total caries scores of rat groups administered funoran were significantly lower than those of the funoran-free group.

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