Journal of Oral Tissue Engineering

Statins Regulate Runx2 Expression in Human Dental Pulp Cells

Aiko KAMADA1, Yoshihiro YOSHIKAWA1, Eisuke DOMAE1, Tsuguo SHINTANI1, Yuko KIKUCHI2, Hitoshi YOSHIMOTO3, and Takashi IKEO1

1 Department of Biochemistry, 2 Department of Postgraduate Clinical Training,
3 Second Department of Oral and Maxillofacial Surgery,
Osaka Dental University, Osaka, Japan

J Oral Tissue Engin 2017; 14(3):157-163.

Statins, the cholesterol-lowering drug, are known to activate the promoter of BMP-2 gene, and stimulate bone formation. In this study, we examine the effect of statin on the gene expression in human dental pulp cells.
Dental pulp cells were cultured in differential medium with simvastatin or mevastatin, and gene expression level was measured using real-time quantitative RT-PCR technique.
Both statins induced and significantly increased the gene expression of osteocalcin in the dental pulp cells, although they did not have influence on the expression of dentin sialophosphoprotein. Statins transiently promoted the gene expressions of BMP-2 and Runx2 in the dental pulp cells on day 3, and then they significantly suppressed Runx2 expression on day 16.
Hence, it is indicated that statins induce not only the initial osteogenic differentiation of human dental pulp stem cells but also final differentiation through the regulation of the transcription factor.

Key words: statin, dental pulp, Runx2, BMP-2