Objective: Butyric acid (sodium butyrate; BA) is a major metabolic by-product of main periodontopathic bacteria present in subgingival plaque. In the present study, we examined the effects of BA on cell proliferation, alkaline phosphatase (ALPase) activity, mineralized nodule formation, extracellular matrix protein expression, macrophage colony-stimulating factor (M-CSF), and osteoprotegerin (OPG) in normal human osteoblasts.
Methods: The cells were cultured with 0, 10(-8), 10(-6) or 10(-4)M BA for up to 12 days. Mineralized nodule formation was detected by alizarin red staining, and the calcium content in mineralized nodules was determined using a calcium assay kit. The gene and protein expression levels for type I collagen, bone sialoprotein (BSP), osteopontin (OPN), M-CSF, and OPG were examined using real-time PCR and ELISA, respectively.
Results: Mineralized nodule formation and the calcium content of mineralized nodules were increased by BA in a dose-dependent manner. Cell proliferation and ALPase activity were not affected by the addition of BA. Following the addition of 10(-4)M BA, the expression levels of BSP, OPN, and OPG increased, whereas the expression levels of type I collagen and M-CSF were not markedly affected.
Conclusion: These results suggest that BA stimulates bone formation by increasing the production of BSP and OPN, whereas it suppresses osteoclast differentiation by increasing the production of OPG by human osteoblasts.