EphB-EphrinB interaction controls odontogenic/osteogenic differentiation with calcium hydroxide

Xiaozhe Wang, George Jong, Louis M. Lin, Emi Shimizu

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Introduction Calcium hydroxide is used in direct pulp capping of uncontaminated exposed vital pulps caused by mechanical or traumatic injury. Calcium hydroxide creates a high alkaline pH environment and initiates a mineralized tissue formation in the pulp. The exact mechanism by which calcium hydroxide induces the reparative dentin formation is unknown. Because Eph receptors and ephrin ligands play a role in pulp stem cell migration and proliferation, our hypothesis is that calcium hydroxide-related odontogenic/osteogenic differentiation may be associated with Eph-ephrin interaction. The aim of this study was to investigate whether Eph-ephrin interaction regulates odontogenic/osteogenic differentiation with calcium hydroxide. Methods Primary pulp cells were harvested from the molars of C57BL/6 mice. The cells were treated with calcium hydroxide. Immunofluorescence was used to detect protein expression. A knockout of the ephrinB1 or EphB2 gene was performed with short hairpin RNAs. Cell migration, proliferation, and gene expression were then analyzed. Results Calcium hydroxide stimulated EphB2 gene expression but suppressed ephrinB1 gene expression at the proliferation stage. However, calcium hydroxide stimulated both ephrinB1 and EphB2 gene expression at the differentiation stage. In addition, EphB2 localized at ephrinB1-positive cells at the area of Dentin sialoprotein (DSP) staining, which increased with calcium hydroxide treatment. Knockdown of ephrinB1-EphB2 significantly suppressed cell proliferation. Additionally, knockdown of the ephrinB1 gene caused cell migration, whereas a lack of the EphB2 gene suppressed calcium hydroxide-induced mineralization from primary pulp cells. Conclusions EphrinB1-EphB2 interaction contributes to calcium hydroxide-induced odontogenic/osteogenic differentiation. This observation is the first finding of the mechanism of calcium hydroxide-induced odontogenic/osteogenic differentiation.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)1256-1260
Number of pages5
JournalJournal of endodontics
Issue number10
StatePublished - Oct 2013


  • Calcium hydroxide
  • Eph
  • ephrin
  • primary pulp cells
  • pulp capping

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • General Dentistry


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