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Biomimetic coating with phosphoserine-tethered poly(epsilon-lysine) dendrons on titanium surfaces enhances Wnt and osteoblastic differentiation

Carlo Galli, Marilina Piemontese, Steven T Meikle, Matteo Santin, Guido M Macaluso, Giovanni Passeri
Clinical Oral Implants Research 2014, 25 (2): e133-9

OBJECTIVES: Phosphoserine-based functionalization has been proposed as a tool to improve integration of endosseous implants by promoting osteoblast adhesion and differentiation in vitro. The present work investigates whether phosphoserine-tethered poly(epsilon-lysine) dendrons, when applied as a film to titanium surfaces, enhance the differentiation of osteoblastic cells and the activation of Wnt/β-catenin signaling.

MATERIALS AND METHODS: These films were tested in a murine model of calvaria-derived MC3T3 osteoblastic cells, primary bone marrow cells and mesenchymal, undifferentiated C2C12 cells. Gene expression was assayed by Real Time PCR, and activation of Wnt signaling pathway was measured with a reporter assay.

RESULTS: Dendrons increased expression of alkaline phosphatase and osteocalcin, two osteoblastic markers, in both murine osteoblastic MC3T3 cells and primary bone marrow cells. The expression of osteoprotegerin, a protein opposing osteoclastogenesis was also significantly higher in cells growing on dendron-coated substrates both at 3 and 6 days of culture. Similarly, the mRNA levels of Wisp-2 and of β-catenin, two Wnt target genes, were also markedly increased in this group at day 6. The activation of this signaling pathway in cells growing on the dendron-coated surfaces was confirmed by use of a TCF/β-catenin reporter system in the C2C12 cell line.

CONCLUSIONS: The findings of the present study show that phosphoserine-tethered poly(epsilon-lysine) dendron films act as stimuli for the activation of specific signal cascades and promote the differentiation of adhering progenitor cells into an osteoblastic phenotype.


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