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Hoffmann, R. A wiki for the life sciences where authorship matters. Nature Genetics (2008)

Expression of IL-8 by cells of the odontoblast layer in vitro.

Due to their peripheral location in the dental pulp and their cellular extension into dentin, odontoblasts are the first pulpal cells to encounter dental pathogens. The association of odontoblasts with immunoglobulins and dendritic cells during microbial invasion of dentin implies that these cells may possess a role in the innate and adaptive pulpal immune responses, however this has not been examined. A pivotal step in the innate immune response is the detection of foreign antigen and the recruitment of immune effector cells to the area. IL-8 is a potent chemotactic cytokine that plays an important role in the inflammatory response. The purpose of this study was to determine if odontoblasts are capable of expressing the pro-inflammatory chemokine IL-8. Human odontoblasts from intact, noncarious third molars were maintained in culture and exposed to Escherichia coli lipopolysaccharide (LPS) (serotype 055:B5) on day 4 for 8-10 h in a humidified 5% CO2 incubator. Control and experimental samples were assayed by reverse transcription-polymerase chain reaction (RT-PCR) and Western blot for the production of IL-8 mRNA and protein. Analysis of the PCR products revealed that cells of the odontoblast layer maintained in this culture model constitutively expressed low levels of IL-8, which were increased in response to E. coli LPS exposure. Western blotting confirmed that the mRNA was translated into protein. These results imply that odontoblasts are capable of producing of pro-inflammatory mediators, thereby actively participating in the recruitment of neutrophils in response to bacterial by-products.[1]


  1. Expression of IL-8 by cells of the odontoblast layer in vitro. Levin, L.G., Rudd, A., Bletsa, A., Reisner, H. Eur. J. Oral Sci. (1999) [Pubmed]
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