The Role of Interleukin 6 in Osteogenic and Neurogenic Differentiation Potentials of Dental Pulp Stem Cells

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IntroductionStudies have shown that there is a significantly higher concentration of interleukin 6 (IL-6) in inflamed pulp tissues compared with healthy pulp tissues. The aims of this study were to investigate the baseline differences between mesenchymal stem cells (MSCs) isolated from healthy human dental pulp stem cells (H-DPSCs) and inflamed dental pulp stem cells (I-DPSCs) and their correlation to IL-6 and to determine whether IL-6 can affect the differentiation potentials of these cells.MethodsMSCs isolated from healthy and inflamed pulp tissues were cultured and characterized in vitro. The levels of secreted IL-6 in the culture supernatants from H-DPSCs and I-DPSCs were measured by enzyme-linked immunosorbent assay. IL-6 and neutralizing IL-6 were added to H-DPSCs and I-DPSCs, respectively. Immunofluorescence staining, alizarin red staining, and Western blotting were performed to assess the differentiation potentials of H-DPSCs and I-DPSCs. The independent unpaired 2-tailed Student’s t-test was performed after quantification analysis.ResultsH-DPSCs and I-DPSCs showed a similar expression of MSC-associated markers including CD44, CD73, CD90, and CD105, whereas H-DPSCs showed a lower level of IL-6, lower osteogenic differentiation potentials, and higher neurogenic differentiation potentials compared with I-DPSCs. The addition of IL-6 to H-DPSCs increased osteogenic potentials and decreased neurogenic potentials, whereas the neutralization of IL-6 for I-DPSCs led to decreased osteogenic potentials and increased neurogenic potentials.ConclusionsThe findings of this study indicated IL-6 has the capacity to enhance osteogenesis while hindering neurogenesis of DPSCs.

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