Osteogenesis involves the recruitment of multipotent mesenchymal cells and the progressive differentiation of these cells into osteoblasts. The transcription factor Runx2 regulates osteoblast differentiation and expression of genes necessary for the development of a mineralized phenotype. The purpose of this study was to determine if preosteoblast cell differentiation associated with Runx2 and osteocalcin gene expression was influenced by implant surface microtopography. Human embryonic palatal mesenchymal cells (HEPM cells) were cultured on grooved or roughened cpTi implant discs. Cell phenotypes were evaluated with epifluorescent microscopy. Real-time PCR was used for quantitative analysis of Runx2 and osteocalcin gene expression. HEPM cells mineralized when grown on rough and grooved implant surfaces relative to tissue culture plastic. Real-time PCR showed significant (p < 0.05) increases in Runx2 and osteocalcin gene expression in cells cultured on rough and grooved implant microtopographies. These results suggest that preosteoblast cell differentiation is affected by implant surface microtopographies during osseointegration of dental implants.
Copyright 2004 Wiley Periodicals, Inc. J Biomed Mater Res 69A: 462-468, 2004