Adrenomedullin Promotes the Proliferation and Inhibits Apoptosis of Dental Pulp Stem Cells Involved in Divergence Pathways

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Abstract

Introduction:

Adrenomedullin (ADM) is highly expressed in dental tissues at the critical developmental time points during tooth development. However, its role in pulp repair and pulp injury is still unknown. The study aimed to investigate the mechanisms by which ADM affects the proliferation and apoptosis of human dental pulp stem cells (DPSCs).

Methods:

Fifty-four freshly extracted wisdom teeth were obtained from 27 patients with caries and 27 without. Enzyme-linked immunosorbent assay and immunohistochemistry were used to examine the expression levels of ADM in caries and normal pulp tissues. Human primary DPSCs from the third passage were incubated with ADM (10−8 mol/L) for 24 hours; the cell cycle and apoptosis were investigated by flow cytomery, and protein expression was investigated using Western blot analysis.

Results:

The levels of ADM in caries pulp tissues were significantly higher than those in normal pulp tissues. Incubation with ADM enhanced the percentage of G2/S/M phase DPSCs (P < .01) by the addition of a JNK/c-Jun inhibitor. Incubation with ADM reduced DPSC apoptosis by the addition of the Src/glycogen synthase kinase-3 inhibitor. ADM also ameliorated CoCl2-induced apoptosis and caspase-3 expression.

Conclusions:

ADM enhances the proliferation of DPSCs through activation of the JNK/c-Jun signaling pathway and inhibits apoptosis of DPSCs through activation of the Src/glycogen synthase kinase-3 signaling pathway.

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