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J Biomed Mater Res. 1997 Dec 5;37(3):432-9.

Mineral trioxide aggregate stimulates a biological response in human osteoblasts.

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Department of Conservative Dentistry, UMDS, London, England.


We report a novel material that appears to stimulate cytokine production in human osteoblasts and allow good adherence of the cells to the material. We have examined cultured osteoblasts (MG-63) in the presence of mineral trioxide aggregate (MTA) as set in moist conditions; secondly, we examined the behavior of these MG-63 cells with respect to cytokine and osteocalcin production and alkaline phosphatase activity. Standard ELISA assays were used for assessment of interleukin (IL)-1 alpha, IL-1 beta, IL-6, macrophage colony stimulating factor (M-CSF), and osteocalcin. Furthermore the levels of alkaline phosphatase were measured to establish the level of differentiation of the cells. Cells without MTA served as controls. Cells also were grown in the presence of polymethylmethacrylate (PMA), the commonly used orthopedic cement. In all dishes cells were seen adhering to the base and MTA at 6 h and had increased to confluence at 144 h. IL-1 alpha (175.1 +/- 32.6 pg/mL), IL-1 beta (154.0 +/- 26.7 pg/mL), and IL-6 (214.7 +/- 21.8 pg/mL) were raised when the cells were grown in the presence of MTA at 144 h, with raised values at all time intervals. M-CSF appeared to be unaffected although the overall value was high (7,045.0 +/- 89.5 pg/mL). In contrast, cells grown in the absence of MTA produced negligible amounts of these cytokines (< pg/mL) as did those cells grown in the presence of PMA. Osteocalcin production increased when cells were grown on MTA from 3.8 +/- 0.87 ng/mL to 19.7 +/- 2.8 ng/mL. No osteocalcin could be detected with PMA. Cells in contact with MTA also appeared to have levels of alkaline phosphatase similar to those reported elsewhere (4.3 +/- 0.21 mumol/mg protein/min). No cells could be found attached to PMA and so no alkaline phosphatase activity could be measured.

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