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Dev Biol. 1994 Mar;162(1):18-28.

Regulatory role of transforming growth factor-beta, bone morphogenetic protein-2, and protein-4 on gene expression of extracellular matrix proteins and differentiation of dental pulp cells.

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Department of Conservative Dentistry, Faculty of Dentistry, Kyushu University, Fukuoka, Japan.


The expression of developmental stage-specific genes during pulp cell differentiation into preodontoblasts was examined in bovine adult pulp cell culture. When proliferation was down-regulated after 14 days of primary culture, expression of fibronectin and type I and type III collagen mRNAs was increased. Expression of alkaline phosphatase was gradually increased, and mRNA for osteocalcin, a marker of preodontoblast, appeared just before the onset of mineralization. Contrarily, in expanded culture, the expression of mRNA for the extracellular matrix proteins was gradually increased from the beginning of culture up to Day 28. Similarly, mRNA levels of alkaline phosphatase and osteocalcin were also increased gradually. Expression of TGF-beta 1 mRNA disappeared on Day 21 in the primary culture when expression of alkaline phosphatase mRNA was increased. BMP-4 mRNA was expressed on Day 14 when the expression of the extracellular matrix proteins was increased. BMP-2 mRNA was expressed on Day 28 when osteocalcin appeared. Recombinant TGF-beta 1 inhibited alkaline phosphatase activity, while BMP-2 and BMP-4 stimulated it. BMP-4 increased expression of alpha 1(I) collagen mRNA, and BMP-2 increased osteocalcin synthesis. These results demonstrate the regulatory role of these TGF-beta superfamily members on the gene expression of extracellular matrix proteins and the differentiation of pulp cells into preodontoblasts.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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