Nicotine deteriorates the osteogenic differentiation of periodontal ligament stem cells through α7 nicotinic acetylcholine receptor regulating Wnt pathway

Zhifei Zhou, Bei Li, Zhiwei Dong, Fen Liu, Yu Zhang, Yang Yu, Fengqing Shang, Lizheng Wu, Xiaojing Wang, Yan Jin
PloS One 2013, 8 (12): e83102

AIMS: Cigarette smoking is one of the high risk factors of adult chronic periodontitis and nicotine is the well established toxic substance in cigarette. However, the mechanism of nicotine induced periodontitis is still unknown. Here we studied whether nicotine impaired the osteogenic differentiation of human periodontal ligament stem cells (hPDLSCs) through activating α7 nicotinic acetylcholine receptor (α7 nAChR).

METHODS: hPDLSCs with multi differentiation potential and surface makers for mesenchymal stem cells were harvested by limiting dilution technique. The level of mineralized nodule formation was assessed by alizarin red S staining. Expression level of ostegenic related genes and proteins were detected by real-time PCR and western blot analysis. The expression of α7 nAChR and its downstream signaling pathway were examined by western blot. The role of the receptor and related signaling pathway in nicotine impairing the osteogenic potential of hPDLSCs were also studied in different levels.

RESULTS: Nicotine deteriorated the ostegenic differentiation of hPDLSCs in a dose dependent manner. Activation of α7 nAChR by nicotine treatment activated wnt/β-catenin signaling pathway, leading to osteogenic deficiency of hPDLSCs. Blockage of α7 nAChR and wnt pathway inhibitor treatment rescued nicotine induced osteogenic differentiation deficiency.

CONCLUSIONS: These data suggested that nicotine activated α7 nAChR expressed on PDLSCs and further activated wnt signaling downstream, thus deteriorating the osteogenic potential of PDLSCs. The impairment of osteogenic differentiation of PDLSCs by nicotine might lead to cigarette smoking related periodontitis.

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