Publicado Oct 28, 2013

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Lorenza María Jaramillo Gómez

Nelly Stella Roa Molina

Margarita Chaves Clavijo

Camilo Durán Correa



El presente artículo analiza la evidencia científica disponible acerca del uso de ratas y ratones en la investigación de caries dental. En el estudio de la caries dental ha contribuido decisivamente al entendimiento de su etiología y patogenia. Desde 1922, cuando se diseñaron los primeros experimentos in vivo para confirmar las observaciones en humanos, y hasta la fecha, la rata sigue siendo el modelo animal más usado para este propósito. El objetivo de los primeros experimentos se orientó a encontrar la asociación entre las fórmulas alimenticias y el grado de las lesiones cariosas. Sin embargo, los resultados experimentales no pudieron comprobar esta correlación, pero sí permitieron establecer la asociación entre microrganismos propios de la flora oral y la caries, y reconocer que, debido a su acidogenicidad, el principal microrganismo cariogénico es el Streptococcus mutans. El modelo de rata y ratón también ha sido fundamental en el estudio de las relaciones existentes entre algunas condiciones sistémicas y la caries. Recientemente, la disponibilidad de cepas de roedores modificados genéticamente impulsa el avance del desarrollo de vacunas de ADN anticaries, mientras que el principal enfoque tendiente a reducir su incidencia mundialmente se sigue concentrando en el desarrollo de terapias para prevenir su aparición.


This article analyzes available scientific evidence about the use of rats and mice to study dental caries. In the study of dental caries, the use of mice and rats has greatly contributed to understand the etiology and pathogenesis of this condition. Since 1922, when the first in vivo experiments were designed to confirm human observations, the rat has been the most widely used animal model. The objective of the first experimental designs was aimed at establishing the relationship between diet formulations and the degree of carious lesions. However, results failed to demonstrate this correlation and, instead, they have proved a definite association between the presence of endogenous oral microorganisms and dental caries, recognizing Streptococcus mutans as the primary etiologic agent due, in part, to its acidogenic capacity. The mouse and rat models have also played a major role in understanding relationships between systemic conditions and caries. Recently the use of genetically modified strains has favored the development of DNA anti-caries vaccines, but the principal approach for decreasing its worldwide incidence is still focused on prevention.

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Cómo citar
Jaramillo Gómez, L. M., Roa Molina, N. S., Chaves Clavijo, M., & Durán Correa, C. (2013). Uso de ratas y ratones en el estudio de la caries dental / Use of Rats and Mice for the Study of Dental Caries. Universitas Odontologica, 32(69), 35–48. Recuperado a partir de
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