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Cell Biochem Funct. 2004 Jul-Aug;22(4):249-56.

Cytoskeletal changes and the system of regulation of alkaline phosphatase activity in human periodontal ligament cells induced by mechanical stress.

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Department of Life-long Oral Health Science, Graduate School of Dentistry, Tohoku University, Sendai, Japan.


The periodontal ligament (PDL) is a specialized, mechanically responsive tissue that adapts via cellular responses to equilibrate the effects of mechanical stress on teeth. However, the mechanism of remodelling by which individual cells in periodontal tissue detect and respond to mechanical stress is not well understood. To identify the cellular mechanisms induced by mechanical stress in the periodontal ligament, we examined the effects of cyclic stretching on periodontal ligament fibroblast-like cells (PDL cells). Furthermore, we investigated the effects of 1alpha,25-dihydroxyvitamin D(3) (1,25(OH)(2)D(3)), and interaction with peripheral blood mononuclear cells (PBMCs) on mechanically-simulated PDL cells. PDL cells were cultured on type I collagen-coated silicon membranes with 10% FBS alpha-MEM, and then subjected to cyclic mechanical stimulation (1 s stretching/1 s relaxation, 15% maximum elongation). Alkaline phosphatase activity was monitored by cytochemical and spectrophotometric methods. Morphologically, the cells assumed a spindle shape, and the cytoskeletal components, including microtubules and F-actin filaments, were aligned perpendicular to the strain force vector. Cyclic stretching decreased ALPase activity in PDL cells. The anabolic systemic hormone 1,25(OH)(2)D(3) increased ALPase activity, but this effect was suppressed by cyclic stretching. ALPase activities were reduced by co-culture with PBMCs, including lymphocytes and monocytes. This PBMC-induced ALPase reduction was synergistically reduced by cyclic stretching. ALPase activity was decreased by co-culture with PBMCs, and ALPase activity was reduced synergistically by treatment with PBMCs and cyclic stretching. We conclude that PDL cells changed their shape and alignment in response to cyclic stretching. Furthermore, local factors, such as mechanical stress and PBMCs, showed synergistic suppressive effects on ALPase activity.

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