Genes expressed by human periodontal ligament fibroblasts (HPFs) are likely to be associated with specific functions of the ligament. The aim of this study is to profile genes expressed highly by HPFs. A library (6 × 10 3 pfu) was constructed, followed by subtraction of HPF cDNAs with human gingival fibroblast (HGF) cDNAs. Reverse-dot hybridization revealed that 33 clones expressed higher levels of specific mRNAs in HPFs than in HGFs. These were mRNAs for known genes, including several associated with maturation and differentiation of cells. None had been reported in PFs. One clone, PDL-29, identified as a COX assembly factor, showed much stronger mRNA expression in HPFs than in HGFs in culture. In rat periodontium, however, PDL-29 mRNA expression was similar in PFs and GFs. These results suggest that HPFs express many previously unreported genes associated with maturation and differentiation, but expression can differ in vitro and in vivo.
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