The microRNA expression signature on modified titanium implant surfaces influences genetic mechanisms leading to osteogenic differentiation

Acta Biomater. 2012 Sep;8(9):3516-23. doi: 10.1016/j.actbio.2012.05.008. Epub 2012 May 12.


Topographically and chemically modified titanium implants are recognized to have improved osteogenic properties; however, the molecular regulation of this process remains unknown. This study aimed to determine the microRNA profile and the potential regulation of osteogenic differentiation following early exposure of osteoprogenitor cells to sand-blasted, large-grit acid-etched (SLA) and hydrophilic SLA (modSLA) surfaces. Firstly, the osteogenic characteristics of the primary osteoprogenitor cells were confirmed using ALP activity and Alizarin Red S staining. The effect of smooth (SMO), SLA and modSLA surfaces on the TGF-β/BMP (BMP2, BMP6, ACVR1) and non-canonical WNT/Ca(2+) (WNT5A, FZD6) pathways, as well as the integrins ITGB1 and ITGA2, was determined. It was revealed that the modified titanium surfaces could induce the activation of TGF-β/BMP and non-canonical WNT/Ca(2+) signaling genes. The expression pattern of microRNAs (miRNAs) related to cell differentiation was evaluated. Statistical analysis of the differentially regulated miRNAs indicated that 35 and 32 miRNAs were down-regulated on the modSLA and SLA surfaces respectively, when compared with the smooth surface (SMO). Thirty-one miRNAs that were down-regulated were common to both modSLA and SLA. There were 10 miRNAs up-regulated on modSLA and nine on SLA surfaces, amongst which eight were the same as observed on modSLA. TargetScan predictions for the down-regulated miRNAs revealed genes of the TGF-β/BMP and non-canonical Ca(2+) pathways as targets. This study demonstrated that modified titanium implant surfaces induce differential regulation of miRNAs, which potentially regulate the TGF-β/BMP and WNT/Ca(2+) pathways during osteogenic differentiation on modified titanium implant surfaces.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Base Sequence
  • Bone and Bones / cytology*
  • Cell Differentiation*
  • Cells, Cultured
  • DNA Primers
  • Dental Implants*
  • Gene Expression Profiling*
  • Humans
  • MicroRNAs / genetics*
  • Real-Time Polymerase Chain Reaction
  • Surface Properties*
  • Titanium*


  • DNA Primers
  • Dental Implants
  • MicroRNAs
  • Titanium