Inflammatory cytokines such as interleukin-1β (IL-1β) and tumor necrosis factor-α (TNF-α) were previously shown to be secreted in pulpitis tissue during the caries process. Matrix metalloproteinases (MMPs) such as MMP-1, -2, -3, and -14 were also shown to be expressed in inflamed dental pulp. MMP-3 activates other MMPs. MMP-1 and MMP-3 can degrade the extracellular matrix (ECM). Dental pulp destruction may be regulated, in part, by MMP-1, and MMP-3 activated by MMP-3 has been shown to regulate the degradation and regeneration of dental pulp. In this study, we tested an activator and an inhibitor of Wnt/β-catenin signaling to regulate IL-1β and TNF-α -induced production of MMP-1 and MMP-3 in human dental pulp fibroblasts cells (HPFs). We demonstrated that MMP-1 and MMP-3 were produced from HPFs in response to TNF-α in a Wnt/β-catenin signaling -dependent manner. These results suggest that a Wnt/β-catenin signal regulating drug may have utility for dental pulp tissue regeneration.
Key words: MMPs, Dental pulp fibroblasts, Wnt/β-catenin
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