Expression profile of matrix metalloproteinases (MMPs) and tissue inhibitors of MMPs in mature human odontoblasts and pulp tissue

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Previous studies have demonstrated that (at least) matrix metalloproteinase (MMP)-2, -8, -9, -14 and -20 are expressed by human odontoblasts. Here, we analysed the expression of 19 MMPs and their specific tissue inhibitors (TIMP)-1, -2 and -3) -1, -2 and -3 in mature human odontoblasts and pulp tissue. Since MMP-20 is almost exclusively expressed by the dentin–pulp complex cells, we further analysed the effect of transforming growth factor (TGF)-β1 and bone morphogenetic protein (BMPs)-2 on its expression. Matrix metalloproteinase-9 served as a positive control for growth factor responsiveness. It was found that MMP-1, -2, -9, -10, -11, -13, -14, -15, -16, -17, -19, -20 and -23, in addition to TIMP-1, -2 and -3 were expressed by both odontoblasts and pulp tissue. Neither MMP-3 nor MMP-12 were expressed in odontoblasts or pulp tissue, and MMP-7, -8, -24 and -25 were expressed only in the odontoblasts; MMP-2, -10, -11, -14 and -20 were expressed more abundantly by odontoblasts, whereas pulp tissue expressed more MMP-13 and MMP-17. Transforming growth factor-β1 (1 ng ml−1) and BMP-2 (100 ng ml−1) did not markedly affect MMP-20 mRNA expression. In contrast, TGF-β1 alone and with BMP-2 significantly upregulated MMP-9 mRNA by 2.4-fold and by 2.6-fold, respectively, in odontoblasts, while in pulp tissue no effects could be detected. The wide-scale expression of MMPs and TIMPs by mature human odontoblasts and pulp tissue suggests that they may participate in dentin matrix organization prior to mineralization, and that growth factors may further control dentin matrix modeling by differentially regulating individual MMPs.

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