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BioMed Research International
Volume 2014, Article ID 890675, 7 pages
Research Article

The Effect of Hypoxia on the Stemness and Differentiation Capacity of PDLC and DPC

Yinghong Zhou,1,2 Wei Fan,3 and Yin Xiao1,2,3

1Institute of Health and Biomedical Innovation, Queensland University of Technology, Brisbane, QLD 4059, Australia
2Australia-China Centre for Tissue Engineering and Regenerative Medicine (ACCTERM), Brisbane, QLD 4059, Australia
3The State Key Laboratory Breeding Base of Basic Science of Stomatology (Hubei-MOST) and Key Laboratory of Oral Biomedicine Ministry of Education, School and Hospital of Stomatology, Wuhan University, Wuhan 430079, China

Received 14 November 2013; Accepted 8 January 2014; Published 20 February 2014

Academic Editor: Jiang Chang

Copyright © 2014 Yinghong Zhou 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.


Introduction. Stem cells are regularly cultured under normoxic conditions. However, the physiological oxygen tension in the stem cell niche is known to be as low as 1-2% oxygen, suggesting that hypoxia has a distinct impact on stem cell maintenance. Periodontal ligament cells (PDLCs) and dental pulp cells (DPCs) are attractive candidates in dental tissue regeneration. It is of great interest to know whether hypoxia plays a role in maintaining the stemness and differentiation capacity of PDLCs and DPCs. Methods. PDLCs and DPCs were cultured either in normoxia (20% O2) or hypoxia (2% O2). Cell viability assays were performed and the expressions of pluripotency markers (Oct-4, Sox2, and c-Myc) were detected by qRT-PCR and western blotting. Mineralization, glycosaminoglycan (GAG) deposition, and lipid droplets formation were assessed by Alizarin red S, Safranin O, and Oil red O staining, respectively. Results. Hypoxia did not show negative effects on the proliferation of PDLCs and DPCs. The pluripotency markers and differentiation potentials of PDLCs and DPCs significantly increased in response to hypoxic environment. Conclusions. Our findings suggest that hypoxia plays an important role in maintaining the stemness and differentiation capacity of PDLCs and DPCs.