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Chin J Dent Res. 2018;21(2):101-111. doi: 10.3290/j.cjdr.a40436.

Transcriptomics and Functional Analysis of Graphene-Guided Osteogenic Differentiation of Mesenchymal Stem Cells.



To explore graphene's effects on the gene expression profile of mesenchymal stem cells, and to reveal the mechanisms of graphene-guided osteogenic differentiation.


Human adipose-derived mesenchymal stem cells (hASCs) were cultured on single-layer graphene-coated titanium disks or titanium disks in proliferation medium (control) or osteoinduction medium for 7 days before RNA extraction. After library construction and RNA sequencing, identification of differentially expressed genes was performed through Limma package of R platform, with a cut-off value of log fold change (logFC) > = |1|. Pathway and Gene ontology (GO) analyses were conducted on DAVID Bioinformatics Resources 6.8 (NIAID/NIH). Network analyses were performed by the Ingenuity Pathways Analysis (IPA).


Signalling pathway analysis revealed the top five pathways - cytokine-cytokine receptor interaction, neuroactive-ligand receptor interaction, calcium signalling pathway, PI3K-Akt signalling pathway and cell adhesion molecules. GO analyses demonstrated significant changes on cell adhesion, calcium signalling, and epigenetic regulation. IPA network analyses demonstrated that inflammation-related pathways were influenced by graphene, while the downstream factors of histone H3 and H4 were also altered especially under the existence of osteoinduction medium.


Graphene promotes osteogenic differentiation of hASCs mainly by influencing cell adhesion, cytokine-cytokine receptor interactions, inflammatory responses, and potentially influences histone H3 and H4 through epigenetic regulation.

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