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J Endod. 2011 Apr;37(4):466-72. doi: 10.1016/j.joen.2010.12.012. Epub 2011 Feb 25.

Expression pattern of Oct-4, Sox2, and c-Myc in the primary culture of human dental pulp derived cells.

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Department of Operative Dentistry and Endodontics, Guanghua School of Stomatology, Sun Yat-sen University, Guangzhou, Guangdong, China.


Dental pulp cells (DPCs) have shown promising potential in dental tissue repair and regeneration. However, during in vitro culture, these cells undergo replicative senescence and result in significant alteration in cell proliferation and differentiation. Recently, the transcription factors of Oct-4, Sox2, c-Myc, and Klf4 have been reported to play a regulatory role in the stem cell self-renewal process, namely cell reprogramming. Therefore, it is interesting to know whether the replicative senescence during the culture of dental pulp cells is related to the diminishing of the expression of these transcription factors. In this study, we investigated the expression of the reprogramming markers Oct-4, Sox2, and c-Myc in the in vitro explant cultured dental pulp tissues and explant cultured dental pulp cells (DPCs) at various passages by immunofluorescence staining and real-time polymerase chain reaction analysis. Our results demonstrated that Oct-4, Sox2, and c-Myc translocated from nucleus in the first 2 passages to cytoplasm after the third passage in explant cultured DPCs. The mRNA expression of Oct-4, Sox2, and c-Myc elevated significantly over the first 2 passages, peaked at second passage (P < .05), and then decreased along the number of passages afterwards (P < .05). For the first time we demonstrated that the expression of reprogramming markers Oct-4, Sox2, and c-Myc was detectable in the early passaged DPCs, and the sequential loss of these markers in the nucleus during DPC cultures might be related to the cell fate of dental pulp derived cells during the long-term in vitro cultivation under current culture conditions.

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