Nina Kaukua, Mo Chen, Paolo Guarnieri, Markus Dahl, Mei Ling Lim, Tülay Yucel-Lindberg, Erik Sundström, Igor Adameyko, Jeremy J Mao, Kaj Fried


Stem cell research & therapy


INTRODUCTION: Deciduous and permanent human teeth represent an excellent model system to study aging of stromal populations. Aging is tightly connected to self-renewal and proliferation and thus, mapping potential molecular differences in these characteristics between populations constitutes an important task.
METHODS: Using specifically designed microarray panels, Real-Time Quantitative Polymerase Chain Reaction (RT q-PCR), Western blot, immunohistochemistry and siRNA-mediated knock down experiments, we have detected a number of molecules that were differentially expressed in dental pulp from deciduous and permanent teeth extracted from young children and adults, respectively.
RESULTS: Among the differentially regulated genes, high-mobility group AT-hook 2 (HMGA2), a stem cell-associated marker, stood out as a remarkable example with a robust expression in deciduous pulp cells. siRNA-mediated knock down of HMGA2 expression in cultured deciduous pulp cells caused a down-regulated expression of the pluripotency marker NANOG. This finding indicates that HMGA2 is a pulpal stem cell regulatory factor. In addition to this, we discovered that several proliferation-related genes, including CDC2A and CDK4, were up-regulated in deciduous pulp cells, while matrix genes COL1A1, fibronectin and several signaling molecules, such as VEGF, FGFr-1 and IGFr-1 were up-regulated in the pulp cells from permanent teeth.
CONCLUSIONS: Taken together, our data suggest that deciduous pulp cells are more robust in self- renewal and proliferation, whereas adult dental pulp cells are more capable of signaling and matrix synthesis.

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