Meaningful, reliable and valid mRNA expression analyses by real-time quantitative PCR (RT-qPCR) can only be achieved, if suitable reference genes are chosen for normalization and if appropriate RT-qPCR quality standards are met. Human periodontal ligament (hPDL) fibroblasts play a major mediating role in orthodontic tooth movement and periodontitis. Despite corresponding in-vitro gene expression studies being a focus of interest for many years, no information is available for hPDL fibroblasts on suitable reference genes, which are generally used in RT-qPCR experiments to normalize variability between samples. The aim of this study was to identify and validate suitable reference genes for normalization in untreated hPDL fibroblasts as well as experiments on orthodontic tooth movement or periodontitis (Aggregatibacter actinomycetemcomitans). We investigated the suitability of 13 candidate reference genes using four different algorithms (geNorm, NormFinder, comparative ΔC
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