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J Dent Res. 2007 Dec;86(12):1212-6.

Osteogenic gene expression by human periodontal ligament cells under cyclic tension.

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Department of Oral Sciences, Faculty of Dentistry, University of Otago, PO Box 647, Dunedin, New Zealand.


The forces that orthodontic appliances apply to the teeth are transmitted through the periodontal ligament (PDL) to the supporting alveolar bone, leading to the deposition or resorption of bone, depending upon whether the tissues are exposed to a tensile or compressive mechanical strain. To evaluate the osteogenic potential of PDL cells, we applied a 12% uni-axial cyclic tensile strain to cultured human PDL cells and analyzed the differential expression of 78 genes implicated in osteoblast differentiation and bone metabolism by real-time RT-PCR array technology. Sixteen genes showed statistically significant changes in expression in response to alterations in their mechanical environment, including cell adhesion molecules and collagen fiber types. Genes linked to the osteoblast phenotype that were up-regulated included BMP2, BMP6, ALP, SOX9, MSX1, and VEGFA; those down-regulated included BMP4 and EGF. This study has expanded our knowledge of the transcriptional profile of PDL cells and identified several new mechanoresponsive genes.

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