Aim: To elucidate mechanisms by which mineral trioxide aggregate (MTA) suppresses pro-inflammatory cytokine mRNA expression in lipopolysaccharide (LPS)-stimulated RAW264.7 macrophages.
Methodology: Mineral trioxide aggregate extracts were prepared by immersing set ProRoot MTA in culture medium. RAW264.7 cells were cultured in the presence of LPS and MTA extracts. mRNA expression levels of interleukin (IL)-1α, IL-6, early growth response 2 (Egr2), suppressor of cytokine signalling 3 (Socs3) and IL-10 were quantified with reverse transcription-quantitative polymerase chain reaction. Phosphorylation of nuclear factor-kappa B (NF-κB) p65 in RAW264.7 cells was analysed by Western blotting. Intracellular calcium imaging was performed with Fluo-4 AM. The activity of nuclear factor of activated T cells (NFAT) was determined by luciferase assays. Enforced expression and silencing of Egr2 in RAW264.7 cells were carried out using an expression vector and specific RNAi, respectively. In vivo kinetics of Egr2+ cells in MTA-treated rat molar pulp tissues were examined using immunohistochemistry. Data were analysed by one-way analysis of variance, followed by the Tukey-Kramer test (P < 0.05).
Results: Exposure to MTA extracts resulted in reduced mRNA expression levels of IL-1α and IL-6, as well as reduced expression of phosphorylated NF-κB, in LPS-stimulated RAW264.7 cells. Exposure to MTA extracts induced Ca2+ influx, which was blocked by NPS2143, an antagonist of calcium-sensing receptor (CaSR); Ca2+ influx then triggered activation of calcineurin/NFAT signalling and enhanced mRNA expression of Egr2. Enforced expression of Egr2 in RAW264.7 cells promoted the expression of both IL-10 and Socs3. In vivo application of MTA onto rat molar pulp tissue resulted in the appearance of Egr2-expressing cells that coexpressed CD163, a typical M2 macrophage marker.
Conclusions: Mineral trioxide aggregate extracts induced downregulation of IL-1α and IL-6 in LPS-stimulated RAW264.7 cells via CaSR-induced activation of calcineurin/NFAT/Egr2 signalling and subsequent upregulation of IL-10 and Socs3.
Keywords: M2 macrophage; calcineurin; calcium ion; early growth response 2; mineral trioxide aggregate; nuclear factor of activated T cells.
© 2020 International Endodontic Journal. Published by John Wiley & Sons Ltd.