Hyaluronan induces odontoblastic differentiation of dental pulp stem cells via CD44.

Research paper by Naoki N Umemura, Emika E Ohkoshi, Masamichi M Tajima, Hirotaka H Kikuchi, Tadashi T Katayama, Hiroshi H Sakagami

Indexed on: 22 Sep '16Published on: 22 Sep '16Published in: Stem cell research & therapy


Dental pulp tissue contains many undifferentiated mesenchymal cells, which retain the ability to differentiate into mature cells. Induced pluripotent stem cells have been developed from various cell sources, including dental pulp-derived stem cells, and evaluated for potential application to regenerative therapy. Dental pulp tissues overexpress CD44, a cell-adhesion factor involved in the induction of mineralization. In this study, we investigated the effects of hyaluronan-a known CD44 ligand-on dental pulp stem cells (DPSCs).DPSC CD44 expression was analyzed using immunofluorescence staining, flow cytometry, and western blotting. Cell proliferation was evaluated using the 3-(4,5-dimethylthiazol-2-yl)-2,5-diphenyltetrazolium bromide assay. Effects of hyaluronan on the cell cycle were analyzed by flow cytometry. Alkaline phosphatase activity was employed as marker of mineralization and measured by fluorometric quantification and western blotting. Bone morphogenetic protein (BMP)-2, BMP-4, dentin sialophosphoprotein (DSPP), and dentin matrix acidic phosphoprotein 1 (DMP-1) levels were measured using real-time polymerase chain reaction. Odontoblastic differentiation and the close cell signaling examination of DPSC differentiation were determined using western blotting.Hyaluronan induced expression of the odontoblastic differentiation markers DMP-1 and DSPP. Moreover, the odontoblastic differentiation induced by hyaluronan was mediated by CD44-but not by Akt, Smad1 or MAPK signaling.Our results indicate that hyaluronan induces odontoblastic differentiation of DPSCs via CD44. This suggests that hyaluronan plays a crucial role in the induction of odontoblastic differentiation from DPSCs. Our findings may aid the development of new, inexpensive, and effective conservative treatments for dental pulp repair.