Human Cell

, Volume 25, Issue 2, pp 29–35 | Cite as

Effect of simvastatin on the osteogenetic behavior of alveolar osteoblasts and periodontal ligament cells

  • Shutai Liu
  • Kristina Bertl
  • Hongchen Sun
  • Zhong-Hao Liu
  • Oleh AndrukhovEmail author
  • Xiaohui Rausch-FanEmail author
Research Article


Statins are routinely used in the clinic as cholesterol lowering drugs, but recently they were reported to also have anabolic effects on bone tissue. Since regeneration of alveolar bone is one of the primary aims of periodontal treatment, in the present study we investigated the effects of simvastatin, a lipophilic statin, on primary alveolar osteoblasts (AOBs) and periodontal ligament cells (PDLs) in vitro. The effect of simvastatin (1–100 nM) on the cells proliferation/viability after 24, 48, and 72 h stimulation was measured using 3,4,5-dimethylthiazol-2-yl-2,5-diphenyltetrazolium bromide (MTT)-assay. The alkaline phosphatase (ALP) activity was measured after stimulation with simvastatin using specific colorimetric assay. Finally, the mRNA expression levels of osteocalcin (OC), receptor activator of NF-κB ligand (RANKL), and osteoprotegerin (OPG) were measured by real-time PCR. The proliferation/viability of AOBs was significantly decreased by all simvastatin concentrations after 72 h stimulation. The proliferation/viability of PDLs was not influenced by simvastatin. ALP activity of AOBs and PDLs was increased by 1 and 100 nM simvastatin, respectively. Simvastatin induced a dose-dependent increase in OC mRNA expression of AOBs and did not influence that in PDLs. RANKL expression of AOBs was increased at all tested simvastatin concentrations and that in PDLs was increased by higher simvastatin concentrations (10–100 nM). Finally, the expression of OPG in AOBs and PDLs was stimulated by 1–10 and 100 nM simvastatin, respectively. Simvastatin seems to slightly increase the expression of osteogenic markers in AOBs and PDLs, indicating its ability to influence alveolar bone formation and periodontal regeneration.


Periodontium Alkaline phosphatase Osteoprotegerin RANK ligand Simvastatin 



We thank Mrs. Nguyen Phuong Quynh, Department of Periodontology, Bernhard Gottlieb Clinic of Dentistry for her fantastic help in preparing and performing the experiments.

Conflict of interest



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Copyright information

© Japan Human Cell Society and Springer 2011

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Department of Periodontology, Bernhard Gottlieb University School of DentistryMedical University of ViennaViennaAustria
  2. 2.Yantai Stomatological HospitalBinzhou Medical UniversityYantaiChina
  3. 3.Department of Oral Pathology, School of StomatologyJilin UninversityChangchunChina

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