Modulation of the differentiation of dental pulp stem cells by different concentrations of β-glycerophosphate

Molecules. 2012 Jan 31;17(2):1219-32. doi: 10.3390/molecules17021219.


Dentinogenesis is a necessary prerequisite for dental tissue engineering. One of the steps for dentinogenesis is to obtain large quantities of highly purified odontoblasts. Therefore, we have undertaken an experiment applying different concentrations of β-glycerophosphate (β-GP) to induce the differentiation of dental pulp stem cells (DPSCs) in a long-term 28-day culture. In the meanwhile, we have studied the time- and maturation-dependent expression of matrix extracellular phosphoglycoprotein (MEPE) and that of the odontoblast-like marker-dentin sialoprotein (DSP), in order to investigate an optimized mineralized condition. Western blot results revealed that the expression of DSP became lower when accompanied by the increase of the β-GP concentration, and there was also an influence on MEPE expression when different concentrations of β-GP were applied. Meanwhile, the mineralized groups had an inhibitory function on the expression of MEPE as compared with the control group. Above all, all experimental groups successfully generated mineralized nodules by Alizarin Red S and the 5 mM β-GP group formed more mineralized nodules quantitated using the CPC extraction method. In conclusion, there is a significant modulation of the β-GP during the differentiation of the DPSCs. The degree of odontoblast differentiation is β-glycerophosphate concentration dependent. A low concentration of β-GP (5 mM) has been shown to be the optimal concentration for stimulating the maturation of the DPSCs. Moreover, MEPE accompanied with DSP clearly demonstrates the degree of the differentiation.

MeSH terms

  • Blotting, Western
  • Cell Differentiation*
  • Culture Media
  • Dental Pulp / cytology
  • Dental Pulp / drug effects*
  • Dose-Response Relationship, Drug
  • Fluorescent Antibody Technique
  • Glycerophosphates / pharmacology*
  • Humans
  • Stem Cells / cytology
  • Stem Cells / drug effects*


  • Culture Media
  • Glycerophosphates
  • beta-glycerophosphoric acid