The role of integrin-α5 in the proliferation and odontogenic differentiation of human dental pulp stem cells

Li Cui, Shuaimei Xu, Dandan Ma, Jie Gao, Ying Liu, Jing Yue, Buling Wu
Journal of Endodontics 2014, 40 (2): 235-40

INTRODUCTION: It has been reported that integrin-α5 (ITGA5) activity is related to cell proliferation, differentiation, migration, and organ development. However, the involvement of ITGA5 in the biological functions of human dental pulp stem cells (hDPSCs) has not been explored. The aim of this study was to investigate the role of ITGA5 in the proliferation and odontogenic differentiation of hDPSCs.

METHODS: We knocked down ITGA5 in hDPSCs using lentivirus-mediated ITGA5 short hairpin RNA (shRNA). Changes in the proliferation in hDPSCs infected with lentiviruses expressing ITGA5-specific shRNA or negative control shRNA were examined using the 3-(4,5-Dimethylthiazol-2-yl)-2,5-diphenyltetrazolium bromide (MTT) assay and 5-ethynyl-2'-deoxyuridine labeling. Both ITGA5 knockdown cells and shMock cells were cultured in mineralization medium for 3 weeks, and the differentiation of cells was detected with alizarin red S staining. The expression of odontogenic differentiation-related molecular markers was assessed using real-time polymerase chain reaction and Western blot assays.

RESULTS: The knockdown of ITGA5 decreased the proliferation capacity of hDPSCs. ITGA5 shRNA promoted odontogenic differentiation of hDPSCs with the enhanced formation of mineralized nodules. It also up-regulated the messenger RNA expression of multiple markers of odontogenesis and the expression of dentin sialophosphoprotein protein.

CONCLUSIONS: These findings suggest that ITGA5 plays an important role in maintaining hDPSCs in a proliferative state. The inhibition of ITGA5 signaling promotes the odontogenic differentiation of hDPSCs.

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