Journal Article

Osteoblast-like properties of human periodontal ligament cells: an <i>in vitro</i> analysis

Efthimia K. Basdra and Gerda Komposch

in The European Journal of Orthodontics

Published on behalf of European Orthodontics Society

Volume 19, issue 6, pages 615-621
Published in print December 1997 | ISSN: 0141-5387
Published online December 1997 | e-ISSN: 1460-2210 | DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.1093/ejo/19.6.615
Osteoblast-like properties of human periodontal ligament cells: an in vitro analysis

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Identifying the biological properties of the cells residing within the periodontal ligament (PDL) will help in understanding the role that these cells play in the various functions of the periodontal ligament, and will improve the success of clinical procedures such as orthodontic tooth movement. For this purpose, fibroblasts isolated from human periodontium were cultured and characterized both histochemically and biochemically with respect to their putative osteoblast-like properties.

Histochemically, cultured PDL fibroblasts showed an intense staining for alkaline phosphatase (ALP). Biochemically, the basal ALP activity increased in culture over time. ALP levels after stimulation with 1α,25-dihydroxyvitamin D3 were significantly higher than those of control cultures. Moreover, immunofluorescence against osteocalcin (a highly reliable osteoblastic marker) was strongly positive. Von Kossa staining of the cell cultures revealed the formation of mineral-like nodules. These results indicate that human PDL fibroblasts exhibit in vitro phenotypic characteristics consistent with osteoblast-like cells, thus suggesting that such cells have the potential to differentiate into osteoblasts and/or cementoblasts.

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Subjects: Restorative Dentistry and Orthodontics

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