Transcriptional profiling of osseointegration in humans

Clin Oral Implants Res. 2011 Apr;22(4):373-81. doi: 10.1111/j.1600-0501.2010.02112.x.


Objective: To determine the temporal gene expression profile associated with the early healing events during osseointegration in a human model.

Material and methods: Nine solid screw-type cylindrical titanium implants, 4 mm long and 2.8 mm wide, with a chemically modified surface (SLActive) were surgically inserted in the retromolar area of nine human volunteers. The devices were removed using a trephine following 4, 7 and 14 days of healing. The tissue surrounding the implant was harvested, total RNA was extracted and microarray analysis was carried out to identify the differences in the transcriptome between days 4, 7 and 14.

Results: Gene ontology (GO) analysis of the temporal transcriptional changes was characteristic of a maturing, osteogenic process over the course of the study (4-14 days). At day 4, a gene expression profile associated with proliferation and immuno-inflammatory processes was predominant. However, by day 14, by far the most predominant mechanisms were associated with skeletogenesis, with the GO categories of skeletal system development, bone development and ossification being predominant, with the majority of changes occurring between days 7 and 14. Furthermore, the biological processes of angiogenesis and neurogenesis were also predominant by day 14. In terms of signal transduction, I-κB kinase/NF-κB cascade was predominant at day 4, whereas TGF-β/BMP, Wnt and Notch signalling were all associated with the osteogenic process over the duration of the study. Furthermore, Ras and Rho protein signal transduction was regulated throughout the osseointegration process.

Conclusion: The temporal transcriptional changes during osseointegration involve the expression of proliferation and immuno-inflammatory response associated genes during the early stages of osseointegration, which are ultimately replaced by genes associated with the biological processes of skeletogenesis, angiogenesis and neurogenesis. The early immuno-inflammatory changes appear to be regulated via the I-κB kinase/NF-κB cascade, whereas the later osteogenesis-related mechanisms are regulated by TGF-β/BMP, Notch and Wnt signaling.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Bone Morphogenetic Proteins / genetics
  • Dental Implantation, Endosseous*
  • Dental Implants*
  • Gene Expression Profiling*
  • Humans
  • Hydrophobic and Hydrophilic Interactions
  • I-kappa B Kinase / genetics
  • Inflammation / genetics
  • NF-kappa B / genetics
  • Neovascularization, Physiologic / genetics
  • Neurogenesis / genetics
  • Osseointegration / genetics*
  • Osteogenesis / genetics*
  • Receptors, Notch / genetics
  • Signal Transduction / genetics*
  • Surface Properties
  • Time Factors
  • Transforming Growth Factor beta / genetics
  • Up-Regulation
  • Wnt Proteins / genetics


  • Bone Morphogenetic Proteins
  • Dental Implants
  • NF-kappa B
  • Receptors, Notch
  • Transforming Growth Factor beta
  • Wnt Proteins
  • I-kappa B Kinase