Intrafibrillar-silicified collagen scaffolds enhance the osteogenic capacity of human dental pulp stem cells

Li-na Niu, Jia-qi Sun, Qi-hong Li, Kai Jiao, Li-juan Shen, Dan Wu, Franklin Tay, Ji-hua Chen
Journal of Dentistry 2014, 42 (7): 839-49

OBJECTIVES: The present study investigated the effects of intrafibrillar-silicified collagen scaffolds (ISCS) on the osteogenic differentiation of human dental pulp stem cells (hDPSCs) in vitro and in vivo.

METHODS: The hDPSCs were co-cultured with ISCS or nonsilicified collagen scaffolds (NCS) in control medium (CM) or osteogenic differentiation medium (ODM). Cell cycle and cell apoptosis were analyzed with flow cytometry to measure the viability of hDPSCs. Reverse transcription-polymerase chain reaction (RT-PCR) and western blotting were used to evaluate the expression levels of osteogenic marker genes and proteins of hDPSCs. Alkaline phosphatase (ALP) staining and alizarin red S assay were used to evaluate the ALP activity of hDPSCs and their calcium deposition potential. In addition, hDPSCs and scaffolds were implanted subcutaneously in nude mice for 8 weeks. Harvested tissues were immunohistochemically stained for osteocalcin (OCN) expression from hDPSCs, and stained with alizarin red S for examination of their calcium deposition in vivo.

RESULTS: The ISCS had no adverse effect on hDPSCs, promoted their proliferation, and significantly up-regulated the expression of osteogenesis-related genes and proteins. The hDPSCs co-cultured with ISCS in ODM exhibited the highest ALP activity and calcium deposition in vitro. The ISCS promoted the OCN expression and calcium deposition of hDPSCs after ectopic transplantation in vivo.

CONCLUSIONS: Intrafibrillar-silicified collagen scaffolds significantly promoted the proliferation, osteogenic differentiation and mineralization of hDPSCs, when compared with NCS. This study demonstrates combining the use of hDPSCs and ISCS to promote bone-like tissue formation is a promising approach for clinical bone repair and regeneration.

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