Suppression of AKT-mTOR signal pathway enhances osteogenic/dentinogenic capacity of stem cells from apical papilla

Yosuke Tanaka, Soichiro Sonoda, Haruyoshi Yamaza, Sara Murata, Kento Nishida, Shion Hama, Yukari Kyumoto-Nakamura, Norihisa Uehara, Kazuaki Nonaka, Toshio Kukita, Takayoshi Yamaza

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37 Citations (Scopus)


Background: Stem cells from apical papilla (SCAP) are a subpopulation of mesenchymal stem cells (MSCs) isolated from the apical papilla of the developing tooth root apex of human teeth. Because of their osteogenic/dentinogenic capacity, SCAP are considered as a source for bone and dentin regeneration. However, little is understood about the molecular mechanism of osteogenic/dentinogenic differentiation of SCAP. Phosphoinositide 3 kinase (PI3K)-AKT-mammalian target of rapamycin (mTOR) signal pathway participates in regulating the differentiation of various cell types, such as MSCs. In this study, we examined the role of the PI3K-AKT-mTOR signal pathway in the osteogenic/dentinogenic differentiation of SCAP. Moreover, we challenge to fabricate scaffold-free SCAP-based spheroidal calcified constructs. Methods: SCAP were pretreated with or without small interfering RNA for AKT (AKT siRNA), PI3K inhibitor LY294402, and mTOR inhibitor rapamycin and were cultured under osteogenic/dentinogenic differentiation to examine in vitro and in vivo calcified tissue formation. Moreover, SCAP-based cell aggregates were pretreated with or without LY294402 and rapamycin. The cell aggregates were cultured under osteogenic/dentinogenic condition and were analyzed the calcification of the aggregates. Results: Pretreatment with AKT siRNA, LY294402, and rapamycin enhances the in vitro and in vivo calcified tissue-forming capacity of SCAP. SCAP were fabricated as scaffold-free spheroids and were induced into forming calcified 3D constructs. The calcified density of the spheroidal constructs was enhanced when the spheroids were pretreated with LY294402 and rapamycin. Conclusions: Our findings indicate that the suppression of PI3K-AKT-mTOR signal pathway plays a role in not only enhancing the in vivo and in vitro osteogenic/dentinogenic differentiation of SCAP, but also promoting the calcification of scaffold-free SCAP-based calcified constructs. These findings suggest that a suppressive regulation of PI3K-AKT-mTOR signal pathway is a novel approach for SCAP-based bone and dentin regeneration.

Original languageEnglish
Article number334
JournalStem Cell Research and Therapy
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - Nov 29 2018

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Medicine (miscellaneous)
  • Molecular Medicine
  • Biochemistry, Genetics and Molecular Biology (miscellaneous)
  • Cell Biology


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