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PLoS One. 2011 Jan 11;6(1):e15848. doi: 10.1371/journal.pone.0015848.

Circadian rhythm and cartilage extracellular matrix genes in osseointegration: a genome-wide screening of implant failure by vitamin D deficiency.

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  • 1Division of Advanced Prosthodontics, Biomaterials and Hospital Dentistry, The Jane and Jerry Weintraub Center for Reconstructive Biotechnology, University of California Los Angeles School of Dentistry, Los Angeles, California, United States of America.



Successful dental and orthopedic implants require the establishment of an intimate association with bone tissue; however, the mechanistic explanation of how biological systems accomplish osseointegration is still incomplete. We sought to identify critical gene networks involved in osseointegration by exploring the implant failure model under vitamin D deficiency.


Adult male Sprague-Dawley rats were exposed to control or vitamin D-deficient diet prior to the osteotomy surgery in the femur bone and the placement of T-shaped Ti4Al6V implant. Two weeks after the osteotomy and implant placement, tissue formed at the osteotomy site or in the hollow chamber of T-shaped implant was harvested and total RNA was evaluated by whole genome microarray analyses.


Two-way ANOVA of microarray data identified 103 genes that were significantly (>2 fold) modulated by the implant placement and vitamin D deficiency. Kyoto Encyclopedia of Genes and Genomes (KEGG) analyses assigned the highest z-score to the circadian rhythm pathway including neuronal PAS domain 2 (NPAS2), and period homolog 2 (Per2). NPAS2 and Aryl hydrocarbon receptor nuclear translocator-like (ARNTL/Bmal 1) were upregulated around implant and diminished by vitamin D deficiency, whereas the expression pattern of Per2 was complementary. Hierarchical cluster analysis further revealed that NPAS2 was in a group predominantly composed of cartilage extracellular matrix (ECM) genes. Whereas the expression of bone ECM genes around implant was not significantly affected by vitamin D deficiency, cartilage ECM genes were modulated by the presence of the implant and vitamin D status. In a proof-of-concept in vitro study, the expression of cartilage type II and X collagens was found upregulated when mouse mesenchymal stem cells were cultured on implant disk with 1,25D supplementation.


This study suggests that the circadian rhythm system and cartilage extracellular matrix may be involved in the establishment of osseointegration under vitamin D regulation.

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