Growth and differentiation factor-5 regulates the growth and differentiation of human dental pulp cells

Mei Chi Chang, Li Deh Lin, Hui Chun Tseng, Bei En Chang, Chiu Po Chan, Sheng Yang Lee, Hsiao Hua Chang, Po Shuen Lin, Shuei Kuen Tseng, Jiiang Huei Jeng

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

8 Citations (Scopus)


Introduction Growth and differentiation factor-5 (GDF-5) is a multifunctional protein that regulates the development and repair in many tissues. The purpose of this study was to investigate whether GDF-5 may influence the proliferation, differentiation, and collagen turnover of human dental pulp cells. Methods Human dental pulp cells were treated with different concentrations of GDF-5 (0-500 ng/mL). Morphology of pulp cells was observed under a microscope. Cell proliferation was evaluated by 3-(4,5-dimethyl-thiazol- 2-yl)-2,5-diphenyl-tetrazolium bromide assay. Immunofluorescent assay was used to observe the percentages of cell mitosis. Collagen content was measured by Sircol collagen assay. Tissue inhibitor of metalloproteinase-1 level in the culture medium was measured with enzyme-linked immunosorbent assay and Western blotting. Cell differentiation was evaluated by alkaline phosphatase (ALP) staining and ALP enzyme activity assay. Results After exposure of dental pulp cells to various concentrations of GDF-5, cell number was up-regulated significantly in dose-dependent manner. GDF-5 also stimulated mitosis of dental pulp cells as indicated by an increased percentage of binucleated cells from 28% to 35%-45%. GDF-5 did not affect the collagen content and tissue inhibitor of metalloproteinase-1 level of pulp cells. GDF-5 decreased the ALP activity of pulp cells as analyzed by ALP staining and enzyme activity assay, with 14%-44% of inhibition. Conclusions GDF-5 revealed mitogenic and proliferative activity to dental pulp cells. GDF-5 showed inhibitory effect on ALP activity but little effect on the collagen turnover. These events are crucial in specific stages of dental pulp repair and regeneration. GDF-5 may be potentially used for tissue engineering of pulp-dentin complex.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1272-1277
Number of pages6
JournalJournal of Endodontics
Issue number10
Publication statusPublished - Oct 2013


  • Alkaline phosphatase
  • GDF-5
  • cell proliferation
  • collagen
  • dental pulp cells
  • differentiation

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • General Dentistry


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