Dental pulp stem cells from traumatically exposed pulps exhibited an enhanced osteogenic potential and weakened odontogenic capacity

Yanping Wang, Ming Yan, Zhanwei Wang, Jintao Wu, Zilu Wang, Yangyu Zheng, Jinhua Yu
Archives of Oral Biology 2013, 58 (11): 1709-17

OBJECTIVES: Traumatic pulp exposure can bring about some permanent damages to tooth tissues including dental pulps. This study was designed to evaluate the effects of traumatic pulp exposure on the osteo/odontogenic capacity of dental pulp stem cells (DPSCs).

METHODS: Rat incisors were artificially fractured and dental pulps were exposed to the oral environment for 48 h. Then, multi-colony-derived DPSCs from the injured pulps (iDPSCs) were isolated. Their osteo/odontogenic differentiation and the involvement of NF-κB pathway were subsequently investigated.

RESULTS: iDPSCs presented a lower proliferative capacity than normal DPSCs (nDPSCs), as indicated by MTT and FCM assay. ALP levels in iDPSCs were significantly higher (P<0.01) than those in nDPSCs. Alizarin red staining revealed that iDPSCs exhibited an increased capacity of calcium deposition. Moreover, iDPSCs expressed stronger osteogenic markers (Runx2/RUNX2 and Ocn/OCN) and less odontogenic gene/protein (Dspp/DSP) than nDPSCs in vitro. In vivo transplantation showed that nDPSCs implants generated the typical dentine-pulp complex while all iDPSCs pellets formed the osteodentin-like tissues which were immunopositive for OCN. Mechanistically, iDPSCs expressed the higher levels of cytoplasmic phosphorylated IκBα/P65 and nuclear P65 than nDPSCs, indicating an active cellular NF-κB pathway in iDPSCs. After the inhibition of NF-κB pathway, the osteogenic potential in iDPSCs was significantly down-regulated while odontogenic differentiation was up-regulated, as indicated by the decreased Alp/Runx2/Ocn and uprised Dspp expression.

CONCLUSIONS: Pulp exposure for 48 h decreased the odontogenic capacity and enhanced the osteogenic potential of DPSCs via the NF-κB signalling pathway.

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