Distinguish fatty acids impact survival, differentiation and cellular function of periodontal ligament fibroblasts

Sci Rep. 2020 Sep 24;10(1):15706. doi: 10.1038/s41598-020-72736-7.


Alveolar bone (AB) remodeling is necessary for the adaption to mechanical stimuli occurring during mastication and orthodontic tooth movement (OTM). Thereby, bone degradation and assembly are strongly regulated processes that can be altered in obese patients. Further, increased fatty acids (FA) serum levels affect bone remodeling cells and we, therefore, investigated whether they also influence the function of periodontal ligament fibroblast (PdLF). PdLF are a major cell type regulating the differentiation and function of osteoblasts and osteoclasts localized in the AB. We stimulated human PdLF (HPdLF) in vitro with palmitic (PA) or oleic acid (OA) and analyzed their metabolic activity, growth, survival and expression of osteogenic markers and calcium deposits. Our results emphasize that PA increased cell death of HPdLF, whereas OA induced their osteoblastic differentiation. Moreover, quantitative expression analysis of OPG and RANKL revealed altered levels in mechanically stimulated PA-treated HPdLF. Furthermore, osteoclasts stimulated with culture medium of mechanical stressed FA-treated HPdLF revealed significant changes in cell differentiation upon FA-treatment. For the first time, our results highlight a potential role of specific FA in the function of HPdLF-modulated AB remodeling and help to elucidate the complex interplay of bone metabolism, mechanical stimulation and obesity-induced alterations.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Bone Remodeling / drug effects*
  • Cell Differentiation / drug effects*
  • Cell Survival / drug effects*
  • Fibroblasts / cytology
  • Fibroblasts / drug effects*
  • Humans
  • Mice
  • Oleic Acid / pharmacology*
  • Osteoclasts / cytology
  • Osteoclasts / drug effects
  • Osteogenesis / drug effects
  • Palmitic Acid / pharmacology*
  • Periodontal Ligament / cytology
  • Periodontal Ligament / drug effects*


  • Oleic Acid
  • Palmitic Acid