This study detected changes in the protein profile of the acquired enamel pellicle (AEP) formed in vivo after rinsing with whole milk, fat-free milk, or water. Nine subjects in good oral condition took part in the study. The acquired pellicle was formed in the morning, for 120 min, after prophylaxis with pumice. Following this, the volunteers rinsed with 10 mL of whole milk, fat-free milk, or deionized water for 30 s, following a blinded crossover protocol. After 60 min, the pellicle was collected with filter paper soaked in 3% citric acid and processed for analysis by liquid chromatography-electrospray ionization tandem mass spectrometry. The obtained tandem mass spectrometry spectra were searched against a human protein database (Swiss-Prot). The proteomic data related to protein quantification were analysed using the PLGS software. A total of 260 proteins were successfully identified in the AEP samples collected from all groups. Forty-nine were common to all 3 groups, while 72, 62, and 49 were specific to the groups rinsing with whole milk, fat-free milk, and water, respectively. Some were typical components of the AEP, such as cystatin-B, cystatin-SN, isoforms of α-amylase, IgA and IgG, lysozyme C, protein S100 A78, histatin-1, proline-rich protein 27, statherin, and lactotransferrin. Other proteins are not commonly described as part of the AEP but could act in defence of the organism against pathogens. Distinct proteomic profiles were found in the AEP after rinsing with whole or fat-free milk, which could have an impact on bacterial adhesion and tooth dissolution. The use of fat-free milk could favourably modulate the adhesion of bacteria to the AEP as well as biofilm formation when compared with whole milk.

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