Eph receptors belong to a subfamily of receptor tyrosine kinases that are activated by membrane-spanning ligands called ephrins. Previously, we demonstrated that the ephrinB1-EphB2 interaction regulates odontogenic/osteogenic differentiation from dental pulp cells (DPCs) in vitro. The goal of this study was to identify the molecular mechanisms regulated by the EphB2/ephrinB1 system that govern tertiary dentin formation in vitro and in vivo. During tooth development, ephrinB1, and EphB2 were expressed in preodontoblast and odontoblasts at postnatal day 4. EphrinB1 was continuously expressed in odontoblasts and odontoblastic processes until the completion of tooth eruption. In addition, ephrinB1 was expressed in odontoblastic processes 2 wk following tooth injury without pulp exposure, whereas EphB2 was expressed in the center of pulp niches but not odontoblasts. In a model of tooth injury with pulp exposure, ephrinB1 was strongly expressed in odontoblasts 4 wk postinjury. In vitro studies with human and mouse DPCs treated with calcium hydroxide (CH) or mineral trioxide aggregate (MTA) showed an increased expression of insulin-like growth factor 1 (IGF-1). Experiments using several inhibitors of IGF-1 receptor signaling revealed that inhibiting the Ras/Raf-1/MAPK pathway inhibited EphB2 expression, and inhibiting the PI3K/Akt/mTOR pathway specifically inhibited ephrinB1 gene expression. Tooth injury in mice with odontoblast-specific IGF-1 receptor ablation exhibited a reduced tertiary dentin volume, mineral density, and ephrinB1 expression 4 wk following injury. We conclude that the IGF-1/ephrinB1 axis plays significant roles in the early stages of tooth injury. Further research is needed to fully understand the potential of targeting ephrinB1 as a regenerative pulp therapy.
|Number of pages||9|
|Journal||Journal of Dental Research|
|State||Published - 1 Sep 2017|
- cell signaling
- pulp biology
- stem cell(s)