Dental pulp plays an important role in the health of teeth. The aging of teeth is strongly related to the senescence of dental pulp cells. A novel adipokine, visfatin, is closely associated with cellular senescence. However, little is known about the effect of visfatin on the senescence of human dental pulp cells (hDPCs). Here, it was found that in vivo visfatin levels in human dental pulp tissues increase with age and are upregulated in vitro in hDPCs during premature senescence activated by H2
, suggesting a correlation between visfatin and senescence. In addition, visfatin knockdown by small interfering RNA led to the reduction in hDPC senescence; however, treatment with exogenous visfatin protein induced the senescence of hDPCs along with increased NADPH consumption, which was reversed by FK866, a chemical inhibitor of visfatin. Furthermore, visfatin-induced senescence was associated with both the induction of telomere damage and the upregulation of senescence-associated secretory phenotype (SASP) factors as well as NF-κB activation, which were all inhibited by FK866. Taken together, these results demonstrate, for the first time, that visfatin plays a pivotal role in hDPC senescence in association with telomere dysfunction and the induction of SASP factors.
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