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Cell Biol Int. 2005 Jul;29(7):567-75.

In vitro differentiation of human dental follicle cells with dexamethasone and insulin.

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Stiftung caesar, Center of Advanced European Studies and Research, Ludwig Erhard Allee 2, 53175 Bonn, Germany.


The dental follicle is an ectomesenchymally derived connective tissue harboring precursor cells for the tooth supporting apparatus. In this study, we examined gene expression of freshly isolated human dental follicle cells during osteogenic differentiation in vitro. These plastic adherent fibroblastic cells express Notch-1, nestin and vimentin. We differentiated dental follicle cells with dexamethasone or insulin-based protocols into membrane-like structures containing mineralizing foci. An analysis of mineralized tissue with atomic force microscopy illustrated a bone and cementum-like structure. A real-time RT-PCR analysis was developed to investigate expression of typical osteoblast or cementoblast related genes during differentiation. Gene expressions of osteocalcin (OCN), bone morphogenic protein (BMP)-2 and nestin were increased during the both differentiation approaches. Our work demonstrates differentiation of dental follicle cells with an insulin-based protocol for the first time.

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