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Arch Oral Biol. 2018 Jun;90:100-107. doi: 10.1016/j.archoralbio.2018.03.006. Epub 2018 Mar 21.

The role of Hedgehog signaling in cementoblast differentiation.

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Dental Science Research Institute, School of Dentistry, Chonnam National University, Gwangju, Republic of Korea.
Dental Science Research Institute, School of Dentistry, Chonnam National University, Gwangju, Republic of Korea. Electronic address:



It has been well known that Hedgehog (Hh) signaling plays an important role in bone development, however, its function in cementogenesis has not yet been reported. This study was intended to elucidate the role of Hh signaling in cementoblast differentiation.


Expression changes of various Hh signaling components and levels of skeletogenic markers (alkaline phosphatase, osteocalcin, osteopontin) and osteogenic transcription factors (RUNX2, Osterix) by Hh signaling modulators during OCCM-30 cementoblast differentiation were determined by quantitative real-time reverse transcriptase polymerase chain reaction. To investigate effects of Hh signaling modulators on the mineralization of cementoblast, alkaline phosphatase and alizarin red S staining were used. Then, the interaction between Hh and BMP signaling during cementoblast differentiation was evaluated using co-treatment of BMP7 and Hh signaling modulators.


We observed the consistent expression of Hh signaling molecules in the OCCM-30, which were up-regulated during cementoblast differentiation. We also found that the treatment of cells with Purmo, an Hh activator, enhanced cementoblast differentiation by increasing the mRNA expression of skeletogenic markers and osteogenic transcription factors, as well as increasing alkaline phosphate activity and mineralization capability. On the contrary, an Hh antagonist, like Cyclo, effectively inhibited cementoblast differentiation. Furthermore, BMP7 promoted cementoblast differentiation through crosstalk with the Hh signaling.


These results suggest that Hh signaling is involved in cementoblast differentiation, and Hh signaling molecules may therefore represent new therapeutic targets in periodontal treatment and regeneration.


Bone morphogenetic protein; Cementoblast; Cyclopamine; Differentiation; Hedgehog; Purmorphamine

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