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

Ascorbic acid induces collagenase-1 in human periodontal ligament cells but not in MC3T3-E1 osteoblast-like cells: potential association between collagenase expression and changes in alkaline phosphatase phenotype.

Ascorbic acid (AA) enhances osteoblastic differentiation by increasing collagen accumulation, which in turn, results in increased alkaline phosphatase ( AP) expression in some osteogenic cells. However, in other cells, including human periodontal ligament (PDL) cells, additional osteoinductive agents are required for this response. To understand the potential basis for the maintenance of the AP phenotype of PDL cells exposed to AA, we examined the modulation of the tissue-degrading matrix metalloproteinases (MMPs) and their inhibitors by AA in short-term cell cultures. Early passage PDL cells in serum-free medium were exposed to AA for 5 days. The samples were analyzed for MMPs and their inhibitors, the tissue inhibitors of metalloproteinases (TIMPs), AP, collagen I(alpha1), and osteocalcin. We found that AA dose-dependently increased the expression of collagenase-1, and minimally TIMP-1, but not stromelysin-1 or TIMP-2. Additionally, AA caused substantial increases in levels of type I collagen. AA was unable to increase AP activity or osteocalcin messenger RNA in PDL cells. However, the cells retained the ability to show a significantly greater AP expression in high- versus low-density cultures, and increased osteocalcin as well as AP levels when cultured in the presence of dexamethasone. Moreover, in cells exposed to dexamethasone, increases in AP and osteocalcin were accompanied by a repression of collagenase-1 expression. In contrast to PDL cells, AA did not induce collagenase but produced a significant increase in AP expression in MC3T3-E1 cells. These findings provide the first evidence that AA, by modulating both collagen and collagenase-1 expression in PDL cells, most likely contributes to a net matrix remodeling response in these cells. Furthermore, the relationship between changes in collagenase expression and alterations in AP activity in PDL and MC3T3-E1 cells suggests a potential role for collagenase in modulating the AP phenotype of cells with osteoblastic potential.[1]


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