Immortalized mouse dental papilla mesenchymal cells preserve odontoblastic phenotype and respond to bone morphogenetic protein 2

Feng Wang, Li An Wu, Wentong Li, Yuan Yang, Feng Guo, Qingping Gao, Hui Hsiu Chuang, Lisa Shoff, Wei Wang, Shuo Chen

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

18 Scopus citations


Odontogenesis is the result of the reciprocal interactions between epithelial-mesenchymal cells leading to terminally differentiated odontoblasts. This process from dental papilla mesenchymal cells to odontoblasts is regulated by a complex signaling pathway. When isolated from the developing tooth germs, odontoblasts quickly lose their potential to maintain the odontoblast-specific phenotype. Therefore, generation of an odontoblast-like cell line would be a good surrogate model for studying the dental mesenchymal cell differentiation into odontoblasts and the molecular events of dentin formation. In this study, immortalized dental papilla mesenchymal cell lines were generated from the first mouse mandibular molars at postnatal day 3 using pSV40. These transformed cells were characterized by RT-PCR, immunohistochemistry, Western blot, and analyzed for alkaline phosphatase activity and mineralization nodule formation. One of these immortalized cell lines, iMDP-3, displayed a high proliferation rate, but retained the genotypic and phenotypic characteristics similar to primary cells as determined by expression of tooth-specific markers and demonstrated the ability to differentiate and form mineralized nodules. Furthermore, iMDP-3 cells had high transfection efficiency as well as were inducible and responded to BMP2 stimulation. We conclude that the establishment of the stable murine dental papilla mesenchymal cell line might be used for studying the mechanisms of dental cell differentiation and dentin formation.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)626-637
Number of pages12
JournalIn Vitro Cellular and Developmental Biology - Animal
Issue number8
StatePublished - Sep 2013


  • Cell differentiation
  • Dental papilla mesenchymal cells
  • Immortalization
  • Odontoblasts
  • SV-40 T antigen

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Cell Biology
  • Developmental Biology


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