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BioMed Research International
Volume 2014, Article ID 319651, 12 pages
Research Article

Effects of Canonical NF-κB Signaling Pathway on the Proliferation and Odonto/Osteogenic Differentiation of Human Stem Cells from Apical Papilla

1Institute of Stomatology, Nanjing Medical University, 140 Hanzhong Road, Nanjing, Jiangsu 210029, China
2Endodontic Department, School of Stomatology, Nanjing Medical University, 136 Hanzhong Road, Nanjing, Jiangsu 210029, China
3Laboratory of Molecular Signaling and Stem Cells Therapy and Molecular Laboratory for Gene Therapy and Tooth Regeneration, Beijing Key Laboratory of Tooth Regeneration and Function Reconstruction, School of Stomatology, Capital Medical University, 4 Tian Tan Xi Li, Beijing 100050, China

Received 26 January 2014; Accepted 4 March 2014; Published 23 April 2014

Academic Editor: Ruoning Wang

Copyright © 2014 Junjun Li et al. This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.


Background Information. NF-κB signaling pathway plays a complicated role in the biological functions of mesenchymal stem cells. However, the effects of NF-κB pathway on the odonto/osteogenic differentiation of stem cells from apical papilla (SCAPs) remain unclear. The present study was designed to evaluate the effects of canonical NF-κB pathway on the osteo/odontogenic capacity of SCAPs in vitro. Results. Western blot results demonstrated that NF-κB pathway in SCAPs was successfully activated by TNF-α or blocked by BMS-345541. NF-κB pathway-activated SCAPs presented a higher proliferation activity compared with control groups, as indicated by dimethyl-thiazol-diphenyl tetrazolium bromide assay (MTT) and flow cytometry assay (FCM). Wound scratch assay revealed that NF-κB pathway-activated SCAPs presented an improved migration capacity, enhanced alkaline phosphatase (ALP) activity, and upregulated mineralization capacity of SCAPs, as compared with control groups. Meanwhile, the odonto/osteogenic markers (ALP/ALP, RUNX2/RUNX2, OSX/OSX, OCN/OCN, OPN/OPN, BSP/BSP, DSPP/DSP, and DMP-1/DMP-1) in NF-κB pathway-activated SCAPs were also significantly upregulated as compared with control groups at both protein and mRNA levels. However, NF-κB pathway-inhibited SCAPs exhibited a lower proliferation/migration capacity, and decreased odonto/osteogenic ability in comparison with control groups. Conclusion. Our findings suggest that classical NF-κB pathway plays a paramount role in the proliferation and committed differentiation of SCAPs.