Bone morphogenetic proteins (BMPs) have multiple functions in the development and growth of skeletal and extraskeletal tissues. Therefore, BMPs may regulate the regeneration of periodontal tissue. To investigate this issue, we examined the effects of BMP-4, −5 and −6 on DNA synthesis and the expression of bone-related proteins in cultures of human periodontal ligament (HPL) cells. The expression of bone-related proteins was determined by Real-time polymerase chain reaction and enzyme linked immunosorbent assay in cultures of HPL cells. DNA synthesis was estimated by measuring bromoderoxyuridine incorporation. It was found that BMP-4, −5 and −6 enhanced DNA synthesis dose-dependently. BMP-4 and −5 increased the levels of osteopontin, BMP-2, alkaline phosphatase and core binding factor alpha 1 mRNAs. BMP-6 stimulated the expression of osteopontin, BMP-2, ALPase and osteoprotegerin. These findings show that BMP-4, −5 and −6 have different actions on the expression of bone-related proteins and may play a role in the regeneration of periodontal tissue by promoting cell proliferation and protein expression.