• Dentine pulp cells;
  • Odontoblast;
  • Transforming growth factor;
  • Tissue culture;
  • Three-dimensional culture


Recent studies have documented that TGF-β1 takes part in dental pulp tissue repair. Moreover, dental pulp cells have the potential to differentiate into odontoblast-like cells and produce reparative dentine in this process. However, the molecular mechanisms and potential interactions between TGF-β1 and dental pulp cells are not clear due to the complexity of the pulp/dentine microenvironment. In this study, we investigated the induction of TGF-β1 on the dental pulp cells in cell culture, tissue culture and three-dimensional culture patterns. These results demonstrated that TGF-β1 significantly increased the proliferation of cells and activity of ALPase. Dental pulp cells cultured in the presence of TGF-β1 formed mineralization nodules. In the organ culture, dental pulp cells treated with TGF-β1 differentiated into odontoblast-like cells and formed a pulp-dentinal complex; and TGF-β1 significantly induced synthesis of dentine relative proteins DSPP, DMP-1. The dental pulp cells share some characteristics of the odontoblast, such as a parallel arrangement with columnar form and a unilateral cell process. Together, these data indicate that TGF-β1 can make dental pulp cells differentiated into odontoblast-like cells and form the pulp-dentinal complex. Moreover, these results suggest that TGF-β1 is an important regulatory factor in odontoblast differentiation during tooth development and pulp repair.