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Activation of canonical Wnt/β-catenin signaling inhibits H2O2-induced decreases in proliferation and differentiation of human periodontal ligament fibroblasts

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Abstract

Human periodontal ligament fibroblasts (hPLFs) are exposed to oxidative stress during periodontal inflammation and dental treatments. It is hypothesized that hydrogen peroxide (H2O2)-mediated oxidative stress decreases survival and osteogenic differentiation of hPLFs, whereas these decreases are prevented by activation of the Wnt pathway. However, there has been a lack of reports that define the exact roles of canonical Wnt/β-catenin signaling in H2O2-exposed hPLFs. Treatment with H2O2 reduced viability and proliferation in hPLFs in a dose- and time-dependent manner and led to mitochondria-mediated apoptosis. Pretreatment with lithium chloride (LiCl) or Wnt1 inhibited the oxidative damage that occurred in H2O2-exposed hPLFs. However, knockout of β-catenin or treatment with DKK1 facilitated the H2O2-induced decreases in viability, mitochondrial membrane potential, and Bcl-2 induction. Osteoblastic differentiation of hPLFs was also inhibited by combined treatment with 100 μM H2O2, as evidenced by the decreases in alkaline phosphatase (ALP) activity and mineralization. H2O2-mediated inhibition of osteoblast differentiation in hPLFs was significantly attenuated in the presence of 500 ng/ml Wnt1 or 20 mM LiCl. In particular, H2O2 stimulated the expression of nuclear factor (erythroid-derived 2)-like 2 (Nrf2) at protein and mRNA levels in hPLFs, whereas the induction was almost completely suppressed in the presence of Wnt1 or LiCl. Furthermore, siRNA-mediated silencing of Nrf2 blocked H2O2-induced decreases in ALP activity and mineralization of hPLFs with the concomitant restoration of runt-related transcription factor 2 and osteocalcin mRNA expression and ALP activity. Collectively, these results suggest that activation of the Wnt/β-catenin pathway improves proliferation and mineralization in H2O2-exposed hPLFs by downregulating Nrf2.

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Acknowledgments

This research was supported by Basic Science Research Program through the National Research Foundation of Korea (KRF) funded by the Ministry of Science, ICT and future Planning (NRF-2013R1A2A2A01967207).

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Correspondence to Jeong-Chae Lee.

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Sung-Ho Kook and Daewoo Lee have contributed equally to this work.

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Kook, SH., Lee, D., Cho, ES. et al. Activation of canonical Wnt/β-catenin signaling inhibits H2O2-induced decreases in proliferation and differentiation of human periodontal ligament fibroblasts. Mol Cell Biochem 411, 83–94 (2016). https://doi.org/10.1007/s11010-015-2570-4

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  • DOI: https://doi.org/10.1007/s11010-015-2570-4

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