Cell and Tissue Research

, Volume 373, Issue 2, pp 477–485 | Cite as

DNA methylcytosine dioxygenase ten-eleven translocation 2 enhances lipopolysaccharide-induced cytokine expression in human dental pulp cells by regulating MyD88 hydroxymethylation

  • Xinxuan Wang
  • Zhihui Feng
  • Qimeng Li
  • Baicheng Yi
  • Qiong Xu
Regular Article


Dental pulp inflammation is a bacterially driven inflammation process characterized by the local accumulation of cytokines/chemokines that participate in destructive processes in the pulp. Multiple mechanisms are involved in dental pulp inflammation, including epigenetic events, such as DNA methylation/demethylation. Ten-eleven translocation 2 (TET2) is a recently discovered DNA methylcytosine dioxygenase that plays important roles in inflammatory disease. However, its role in the inflammatory response of dental pulp is unknown. We observed elevated mRNA and protein levels of TET2 after lipopolysaccharide (LPS) stimulation in human dental pulp cells (hDPCs). To identify the effects of TET2 on cytokine expression, TET2 was knocked down and cytokines were detected using a cytokine antibody array after LPS stimulation. The protein expression of GM-CSF, IL-6, IL-8 and RANTES decreased in the LPS-induced hDPCs following TET2 knockdown. The downregulated expression levels of IL-6 and IL-8 were further confirmed by real-time quantitative polymerase chain reaction (qRT-PCR) and enzyme-linked immunosorbent assay (ELISA). Additionally, the phosphorylation levels of IKK-α/β, p65 and IκBα of the NF-κB signaling pathway were decreased in the TET2-silenced group. Furthermore, the global 5-hydroxymethylcytosine (5hmC) level was significantly decreased and the genomic 5-methylcytosine (5mC) level was increased in the TET2-deficient hDPCs; TET2 depletion resulted in a decrease in the 5hmC level of the MyD88 promoter following LPS stimulation. These findings indicate that TET2 knockdown inhibits LPS-induced inflammatory response in hDPCs by downregulating MyD88 hydroxymethylation. Thus, TET2-dependent DNA demethylation might play an important role in dental pulp inflammation as an epigenetic regulator.


DNA demethylation TET2 Lipopolysaccharide Inflammation Dental pulp 


Funding information

This work was financially supported by the National Natural Science Foundation of China (81771058).

Compliance with ethical standards

Conflict of interest

The authors declare that there are no conflicts of interest.


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Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag GmbH Germany, part of Springer Nature 2018

Authors and Affiliations

  • Xinxuan Wang
    • 1
    • 2
  • Zhihui Feng
    • 1
  • Qimeng Li
    • 1
  • Baicheng Yi
    • 1
  • Qiong Xu
    • 1
  1. 1.Guanghua School of Stomatology & Guangdong Provincial Key Laboratory of StomatologySun Yat-sen UniversityGuangzhouChina
  2. 2.Stomatological HospitalSouthern Medical UniversityGuangzhouChina

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