Journal of Molecular Histology

, Volume 49, Issue 1, pp 51–61 | Cite as

Changes of mitochondrial respiratory function during odontogenic differentiation of rat dental papilla cells

  • Fuping Zhang
  • Liulin Jiang
  • Yifan He
  • Wenguo Fan
  • Xiaoyan Guan
  • Qianyi Deng
  • Fang HuangEmail author
  • Hongwen HeEmail author
Original Paper


Dental papilla cells (DPCs) belong to precursor cells differentiating to odontoblasts and play an important role in dentin formation and reproduction. This study aimed to explore the changes and and involvement of mitochondrial respiratory function during odontogenic differentiation. Primary DPCs were obtained from first molar dental papilla of neonatal rats and cultured in odontogenic medium for 7, 14, 21 days. DPCs, which expressed mesenchymal surface markers CD29, CD44 and CD90, had the capacity for self-renewal and multipotent differentiation. Odontoblastic induction increased mineralized matrix formation in a time-dependent manner, which was accompanied by elevated alkaline phosphatase (ALP), dentin sialophosphoprotein and dentin matrix protein 1 expression at mRNA and protein levels. Notably, odontogenic medium led to an increase in adenosine-5′-triphosphate content and mitochondrial membrane potential, whereas a decrease in intercellular reactive oxygen species production and NAD+/NADH ratio. Furthermore, odontogenic differentiation was significantly suppressed by treatment with rotenone, an inhibitor of mitochondrial respiratory chain. These results demonstrate that enhanced mitochondrial function is crucial for odontogenic differentiation of DPCs.


Dental papilla cells Odontogenic differentiation Mitochondrial function Reactive oxygen species 



This work was supported in part by grants from the National Natural Science Foundation of China (Grant Nos. 81371107, 81470760 and 81771098).

Compliance with Ethical Standards

Conflict of Interest

The authors declare that they have no conflict of interest.


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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media B.V., part of Springer Nature 2017

Authors and Affiliations

  • Fuping Zhang
    • 1
    • 3
  • Liulin Jiang
    • 1
    • 3
  • Yifan He
    • 3
    • 4
  • Wenguo Fan
    • 1
    • 3
  • Xiaoyan Guan
    • 2
    • 3
  • Qianyi Deng
    • 2
    • 3
  • Fang Huang
    • 2
    • 3
    Email author
  • Hongwen He
    • 1
    • 3
    Email author
  1. 1.Department of Oral Anatomy and Physiology, Guanghua School of Stomatology, Hospital of StomatologySun Yat-sen UniversityGuangzhouChina
  2. 2.Department of Pediatric Dentistry, Guanghua School of Stomatology, Hospital of StomatologySun Yat-sen UniversityGuangzhouChina
  3. 3.Guangdong Provincial Key Laboratory of StomatologyGuangzhouChina
  4. 4.Guanghua School of StomatologySun Yat-sen UniversityGuangzhouChina

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