C5L2 Regulates DMP1 Expression during Odontoblastic Differentiation

  • Chmilewsky Fanny
  • Liang R.
  • Kanazawa Makoto
  • About Imad
  • Cooper L.F.
  • George A.

  • Stem cell
  • Reparative dentinogenesis
  • Dentin matrix protein 1
  • Pulp biology
  • Inflammation
  • TNF-alpha


The presence of stem cells within the dental-pulp tissue as well as their differentiation into a new generation of functional odontoblast-like cells constitutes an important step of the dentin-pulp regeneration. Recent investigations demonstrated that the complement system activation participates in 2 critical steps of dentin-pulp regeneration: pulp progenitor’s recruitment and pulp nerve sprouting. Surprisingly, its implication in odontoblastic differentiation has not been addressed yet. Since the complement receptor C5a receptor-like 2 (C5L2) is expressed by different stem cells, the aim of this study is to investigate if the dental pulp stem cells express C5L2 and if this receptor participates in odontoblastic differentiation. Immunohistochemistry performed on human third molar pulp sections showed a perivascular co-localization of the mesenchymal stem cell markers STRO1 and C5L2. In vitro immunofluorescent staining confirmed that hDPSCs express C5L2. Furthermore, we determined by real-time polymerase chain reaction that the expression of C5L2 is highly modulated in human dental pulp stem cells (hDPSCs) undergoing odontoblastic differentiation. Moreover, we showed that this odontogenesis-regulated expression of C5L2 is specifically potentiated by the proinflammatory cytokine TNFα. Using a C5L2-siRNA silencing strategy, we provide direct evidence that C5L2 constitutes a negative regulator of the dentinogenic marker DMP1 (dentin matrix protein 1) expression by hDPSCs. Our findings suggest a direct correlation between the odontoblastic differentiation and the level of C5L2 expression in hDPSCs and identify C5L2 as a negative regulator of DMP1 expression by hDPSCs during the odontoblastic differentiation and inflammation processes. This work is the first to demonstrate the involvement of C5L2 in the biological function of stem cells, provides an important knowledge in understanding odontoblastic differentiation of dental pulp stem cells, and may be useful in future dentin-pulp engineering strategies.