Aim: To examine whether low-power laser irradiation (LPLI) promotes cellular proliferation of human dental pulp-derived fibroblast-like cells (dental pulp cells).
Methodology: Dental pulp cells were obtained by primary culture of human dental pulp tissues from extracted third molar teeth. The phosphorylation of the mitogen-activated protein kinase (MAPK) family after LPLI of these cells was investigated by Western blotting. By using a specific MAPK/ERK kinase (MEK) inhibitor (PD098059), the specific effect of LPLI on the MAPK pathway was also investigated by Western blotting as described above. The incorporation of [3H]thymidine into the cells after LPLI was determined, and statistical analysis was performed by Wilcoxon signed-ranks test.
Results: Extracellular signal-regulated protein kinase (ERK) 1/2 was phosphorylated between 5 and 30 min after LPLI. Moreover, PD098059 inhibited LPLI-mediated ERK1/2 activation. LPLI did not affect p38 MAPK or c-Jun N-terminal kinase (JNK) phosphorylation. But LPLI did not stimulate [3H]thymidine incorporation into these cells.
Conclusions: These results indicated that LPLI activated MAPK/ERK, a signal for proliferation, differentiation and survival, but did not activate the stress signals p38 MAPK and JNK in human dental pulp cells.