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Arch Oral Biol. 1992 Dec;37(12):1045-55.

Mineralized nodule formation by cultures of human dental pulp-derived fibroblasts.

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Department of Pharmacology, Osaka Dental University, Japan.


Pulp fibroblasts were isolated from human deciduous and supernumerary teeth and cultured in vitro. With continued culture in normal tissue-culture medium, six pulp fibroblast strains formed cell nodules after 10-15 days. By electron microscopy the nodules had matrix vesicles, and needle-shaped crystals associated with a dense network of collagen fibrils. The crystalline material exhibited a pattern consistent with hydroxyapatite when nodules were examined by X-ray diffractometry. Furthermore, the cells showed high levels of alkaline phosphatase activity, which could be increased more than seven-fold by the addition of 1,25(OH)2D3 (5 x 10(-9)-5 x 10(-8) M). In addition to the production of type I collagen, these cells also synthesized fibronectin and osteonectin. The formation of mineralized tissue nodules by pulp cells in vitro provides a useful system for study of the pathological calcification of pulp tissues.

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