Recruitment of dental pulp cells by dentine and pulp extracellular matrix components

J G Smith, A J Smith, R M Shelton, P R Cooper

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The present study aimed to determine whether dentine tissue and preparations of extracellular matrix (ECM) from pulp (pECM) and dentine (dECM), and breakdown products, influenced pulp cell migration. Chemotaxis transwell and agarose spot assays demonstrated that both dentine and pulp ECM molecules acted as chemoattractants for primary pulp cells. Chemoattractant activities of dECM and pECM were enhanced when subjected to acid and enzymatic breakdown, respectively. This enhanced activity following physiologically relevant breakdown may be pertinent to the disease environment. Pulp cell migration in response to dental ECMs was dependent on an active rho pathway. Recruited cells exhibited increased stem cell marker expression indicating that dental ECMs and their breakdown products selectively attract progenitor cells that contribute to repair processes. In conclusion, combined these results indicate that ECM molecules contribute to cell recruitment necessary for regeneration of the dentine-pulp complex after injury.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)2397-2406
Number of pages10
JournalExperimental Cell Research
Issue number18
Early online date20 Jul 2012
Publication statusPublished - 1 Nov 2012


  • Animals
  • Cell Differentiation
  • Cell Movement
  • Dental Pulp/metabolism
  • Dentin/cytology
  • Extracellular Matrix/metabolism
  • Humans
  • Rats

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