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J Endod. 2010 Jun;36(6):1014-20. doi: 10.1016/j.joen.2010.03.018. Epub 2010 Apr 24.

High glucose levels increase osteopontin production and pathologic calcification in rat dental pulp tissues.

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Department of Periodontology and Endodontology, Institute of Health Biosciences, University of Tokushima Graduate School, Tokushima, Japan.



Pulp stones are frequently formed as a pathologic calcification product in dental pulp tissues, but the pathogenesis is poorly understood. We previously found that osteopontin (OPN) was produced by dental pulp cells, and its expression was associated with formation of the pulp stone matrix. It was reported that amorphous calcification appeared in the dental pulp of diabetic patients. The aim of this study was to determine the relationship between OPN expression and pathologic calcification in rat diabetic pulp.


The effect of glucose on OPN production and alkaline phosphatase activity in cultured rat dental pulp cells (RPC-C2A) was investigated, and then dental pulp calcification and OPN expression in diabetic rats were determined and compared with those in healthy rats by histologic and immunohistochemical analyses.


In RPC-C2A cells, biochemical analysis showed that a high concentration of glucose (50 mmol/L) increased OPN protein production and alkaline phosphatase activity 1.3-fold and 1.5-fold, respectively. Histologic observations showed more calcified particles in dental pulp tissues in diabetic than in nondiabetic rats. Moreover, a thickened layer of predentin was formed in the radicular pulp of diabetic rats. OPN was more strongly stained around the calcified particles and in the odontoblast zone under the thickened predentin in diabetic rats.


OPN might be a key molecule involved in the increase of pathologic pulp calcifications, which are frequently observed in diabetic patients.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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