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Int. J. Mol. Sci. 2015, 16(2), 3188-3201;

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
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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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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