Establishing and characterizing human periodontal ligament fibroblasts immortalized by SV40T-antigen and hTERT gene transfer

Shinsuke Fujii, Hidefumi Maeda, Naohisa Wada, Yoshio Kano, Akifumi Akamine

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87 Citations (Scopus)


The periodontal ligament (PDL) is a highly specialized tissue connecting the cementum with the tooth socket bone and affects the life span of the tooth. However, little is known about the precise characteristics and regenerative mechanism of PDL cells because of the absence of specific markers and cell lines. Therefore, we aimed to establish three immortalized human PDL fibroblast cell lines by using simian virus40 T-antigen (SV40T-Ag) and human telomerase reverse transcriptase (hTERT) transfection, expecting these cells to have the characteristics of primary cells. The transfected cells were named STPLF. The expression of SV40T-Ag and hTERT in all STPLF lines was verified by using the semi-quantitative reverse transcription-polymerase chain reaction (RT-PCR) method, stretch PCR analysis, or Western blotting analysis. All STPLF showed stable proliferation at more than 120 population doublings (PD), whereas primary human PDL fibroblasts (HPLF) stopped at 10-20 PD. Characterization by RT-PCR analysis revealed that all STPLF genes mimicked the expression of their respective original HPLF genes. STPLF expressed runt-related transcription factor-2, osterix, alkaline phosphatase, osteopontin, osteocalcin, periostin, receptor activator of NF-kappa B ligand, osteoprotegerin, epidermal growth factor receptor, alpha-smooth muscle actin, and type XII collagen. STPLF stimulated with 50 μg/ml ascorbic acid and 2 mM β-glycerophosphate for 4 weeks produced more calcified deposits than did HPLF cultured with the same reagents. These results suggest that each STPLF line retained the characteristics of the respective original HPLF, that STPLF gained increased calcification activity, and that STPLF are helpful tools for studying the biology and regenerative mechanisms of human PDL.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)117-125
Number of pages9
JournalCell and tissue research
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - Apr 2006

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Pathology and Forensic Medicine
  • Histology
  • Cell Biology


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