Analysis of gene expression during mineralization of cultured human periodontal ligament cells

Author(s): Choi HD, Noh WC, Park JW, Lee JM, Suh JY


Purpose: Under different culture conditions, periodontal ligament (PDL) stem cells are capable of differentiating into cementoblast-like cells, adipocytes, and collagen-forming cells. Several previous studies reported that because of the stem cells in the PDL, the PDL have a regenerative capacity which, when appropriately triggered, participates in restoring connective tissues and mineralized tissues. Therefore, this study analyzed the genes involved in mineralization during differentiation of human PDL (hPDL) cells, and searched for candidate genes possibly associated with the mineralization of hPDL cells.

Methods: To analyze the gene expression pattern of hPDL cells during differentiation, the hPDL cells were cultured in two conditions, with or without osteogenic cocktails (β-glycerophosphate, ascorbic acid and dexamethasone), and a DNA microarray analysis of the cells cultured on days 7 and 14 was performed. Reverse transcription-polymerase chain reaction was performed to validate the DNA microarray data.

Results: The up-regulated genes on day 7 by hPDL cells cultured in osteogenic medium were thought to be associated with calcium/iron/metal ion binding or homeostasis (PDE1A, HFE and PCDH9) and cell viability (PCDH9), and the down-regulated genes were thought to be associated with proliferation (PHGDH and PSAT1). Also, the up-regulated genes on day 14 by hPDL cells cultured in osteogenic medium were thought to be associated with apoptosis, angiogenesis (ANGPTL4 and FOXO1A), and adipogenesis (ANGPTL4 and SEC14L2), and the down-regulated genes were thought to be associated with cell migration (SLC16A4).

Conclusions: This study suggests that when appropriately triggered, the stem cells in the hPDL differentiate into osteoblasts/cementoblasts, and the genes related to calcium binding (PDE1A and PCDH9), which were strongly expressed at the stage of matrix maturation, may be associated with differentiation of the hPDL cells into osteoblasts/cementoblasts.

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