Journal of endodontics

Iloprost up-regulates vascular endothelial growth factor expression in human dental pulp cells in vitro and enhances pulpal blood flow in vivo.

PMID 24935537


Prostacyclin (PGI2) is a biomolecule capable of enhancing angiogenesis and cellular proliferation. We investigated the influence of a PGI2 analogue (iloprost) on dental pulp revascularization in vitro and in vivo by using human dental pulp cells (HDPCs) and a rat tooth injury model, respectively. Iloprost stimulated the human dental pulp cell mRNA expression of vascular endothelial growth factor (VEGF), fibroblast growth factor-2 (FGF-2), and platelet-derived growth factor (PDGF) in a significant dose-dependent manner. This mRNA up-regulation was significantly inhibited by pretreatment with a PGI2 receptor antagonist and forskolin (a protein kinase A activator). In contrast, a protein kinase A inhibitor significantly enhanced the iloprost-induced mRNA expression of VEGF, FGF-2, and PDGF. Pretreatment with a fibroblast growth factor receptor inhibitor attenuated the VEGF, FGF-2, and PDGF mRNA expression, indicating opposing regulatory mechanisms. The effect of iloprost on the dental pulp was investigated in vivo by using a rat molar pulp injury model. The iloprost-treated group exhibited a significant increase in pulpal blood flow at 72 hours compared with control. The present study indicates that iloprost may be a candidate agent to promote neovascularization in dental pulp tissue, suggesting the potential clinical use of iloprost in vital pulp therapy.