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Int. J. Mol. Sci. 2015, 16(2), 3188-3201; doi:10.3390/ijms16023188

Multi-Walled Carbon Nanotubes Promote Cementoblast Differentiation and Mineralization through the TGF-β/Smad Signaling Pathway

State Key Laboratory of Oral Diseases, Department of Prosthodontics, West China Hospital of Stomatology, Sichuan University, Chengdu 610041, China
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Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Academic Editor: Bing Yan
Received: 20 November 2014 / Revised: 19 January 2015 / Accepted: 26 January 2015 / Published: 2 February 2015
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Bioactive Nanoparticles 2014)
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Abstract

Excretion of cementum by cementoblasts on the root surface is a process indispensable for the formation of a functional periodontal ligament. This study investigated whether carboxyl group-functionalized multi-walled carbon nanotubes (MWCNT-COOH) could enhance differentiation and mineralization of mammalian cementoblasts (OCCM-30) and the possible signaling pathway involved in this process. Cementoblasts were incubated with various doses of MWCNT-COOH suspension. Cell viability was detected, and a scanning electron microscopy (SEM) observed both the nanomaterials and the growth of cells cultured with the materials. Alizarin red staining was used to investigate the formation of calcium deposits. Real-time PCR and western blot were used to detect cementoblast differentiation and the underlying mechanisms through the expression of the osteogenic genes and the downstream effectors of the TGF-β/Smad signaling. The results showed that 5 µg/mL MWCNT-COOH had the most obvious effects on promoting differentiation without significant toxicity. Alp, Ocn, Bsp, Opn, Col1 and Runx2 gene expression was up-regulated. Smad2 and Smad3 mRNA was up-regulated, while Smad7 was first down-regulated on Day 3 and later up-regulated on Day 7. The elevated levels of phospho-Smad2/3 were also confirmed by western blot. In sum, the MWCNT-COOH promoted cementoblast differentiation and mineralization, at least partially, through interactions with the TGF-β/Smad pathway. View Full-Text
Keywords: carbon nanotubes; cementoblasts; differentiation; mineralization carbon nanotubes; cementoblasts; differentiation; mineralization
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Li, L.; Zhu, Z.; Xiao, W.; Li, L. Multi-Walled Carbon Nanotubes Promote Cementoblast Differentiation and Mineralization through the TGF-β/Smad Signaling Pathway. Int. J. Mol. Sci. 2015, 16, 3188-3201.

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