Sensory nerve-deficient microenvironment impairs tooth homeostasis by inducing apoptosis of dental pulp stem cells

An-Qi Liu, Li-Shu Zhang, Dong-Dong Fei, Hao Guo, Mei-Ling Wu, Jin Liu, Xiao-Ning He, Yong-Jie Zhang, Kun Xuan, Bei Li
Cell Proliferation 2020 April 4, : e12803

OBJECTIVES: The aim of this study is to investigate the role of sensory nerve in tooth homeostasis and its effect on mesenchymal stromal/stem cells (MSCs) in dental pulp.

MATERIALS AND METHODS: We established the rat denervated incisor models to identify the morphological and histological changes of tooth. The groups were as follows: IANx (inferior alveolar nerve section), SCGx (superior cervical ganglion removal), IANx + SCGx and Sham group. The biological behaviour of dental pulp stromal/stem cells (DPSCs) was evaluated. Finally, we applied activin B to DPSCs from sensory nerve-deficient microenvironment to analyse the changes of proliferation and apoptosis.

RESULTS: Incisor of IANx and IANx + SCGx groups exhibited obvious disorganized tooth structure, while SCGx group only showed slight decrease of dentin thickness, implying sensory nerve, not sympathetic nerve, contributes to the tooth homeostasis. Moreover, we found sensory nerve injury led to disfunction of DPSCs via activin B/SMAD2/3 signalling in vitro. Supplementing activin B promoted proliferation and reduced apoptosis of DPSCs in sensory nerve-deficient microenvironment.

CONCLUSIONS: This research first demonstrates that sensory nerve-deficient microenvironment impairs tooth haemostasis by inducing apoptosis of DPSCs via activin B/SMAD2/3 signalling. Our study provides the evidence for the crucial role of sensory nerve in tooth homeostasis.

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