The Role of NFATc1 on Osteoblastic Differentiation in Human Periodontal Ligament Cells

치주인대세포의 골모세포 분화에서 NFATc1의 역할

  • Received : 2015.07.15
  • Accepted : 2015.07.29
  • Published : 2015.08.30


A recent report showed that nuclear factor of activated T cell (NFATc) 1 is a member of the NFAT family and is strictly implicated osteoblast differentiation and bone formation. Furthermore, the precise expression and function of NFATc1 in periodontal tissue remains unclear. Therefore, the purpose of this study was to investigate the function of NFATc1 in osteoblastic differentiation, and the underlying mechanism regulating periodontal regeneration in human periodontal ligament cells (hPDLCs). NFATc1 messenger RNA (mRNA) and protein levels were accessed by reverse transcription-polymerase chain reaction (RT-PCR) and western blot assay, respectively. Cell proliferation determined using MTT assay. Differentiation was evaluated by alkaline phosphatase activity and formation of calcium nodule with alizarin red S staining. The mRNA expression of osteoblastic differentiation related genes were examined by RT-PCR. Marked upregulation of NFATc1 mRNA and protein was observed in cells grown in osteogenic medium (OS). NFATc1 transactivation was detected in hPDLCs that had been incubated in OS for 14 days. Treatment with $10{\mu}M$ cyclosporine A (CsA), a known calcineurin inhibitor, reduced the proliferation of hPDLCs, while $5{\mu}M$ CsA had no effect. Inhibition of the calcineurin/NFATc1 pathway by CsA, attenuated OS-induced osteoblastic differentiation in hPDLCs. In summary, this study demonstrates for the first time that NFATc1 plays a key role in osteoblastic differentiation of hPDLCs and activation of NFATc1 could provide a novel mechanism for periodontal bone regeneration.


NFATc1 transcription factor;Osteoblastic differentiation;Periodontal ligament cells


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Supported by : National Research Foundation of Korea (NRF)