Role of Human Pulp Fibroblasts in Angiogenesis

  • Tran-Hung L.
  • Mathieu S.
  • About I.


After pulp amputation, complete pulp healing requires not only reparative dentin production but also fibroblast proliferation, nerve fiber growth, and neoangiogenesis. This study was designed to investigate the role of pulp fibroblasts in angiogenesis. Human pulp fibroblasts from third molars co-cultured with human umbilical vein endothelial cells induced the organization of endothelial cells and the formation of tubular structures corresponding to capillaries in vivo. The direct contact between both cells was not necessary to induce angiogenesis, and the observed effect was due to soluble factors. This was confirmed with neutralizing antibodies against FGF-2 and VEGF, which decreased the angiogenic effects of these soluble factors. Immunohistochemistry showed that both FGF-2 and VEGF were expressed in human dental pulp fibroblasts, and this expression increased after injury. These results suggest that the pulp fibroblasts secrete angiogenic factors, which are necessary for complete pulp healing, particularly at the pulp injury site.