• cementoblasts;
  • parathyroid hormone-related protein;
  • parathyroid hormone/parathyroid hormone-related protein receptor;
  • bone sialoprotein;
  • biomineralization


Parathyroid hormone-related protein (PTHrP) has been implicated in regulating tooth eruption and/or development. Formation of cementum, a mineralized tissue covering the tooth root surface, is a critical biological event for tooth root development. To test the hypothesis that PTHrP targets cementoblasts (CMs) and acts to regulate cementogenesis, CM cell lines were established and their responsiveness to PTHrP stimulation was determined, in vitro. First, subclones were derived from two immortalized murine cell populations that contained CMs; SV-CM/periodontal ligament (PDL) cells were obtained from the root surface of first mandibular molars of CD-1 mice and immortalized with SV40 T-antigen (TAg), and OC-CM cell population was established from OC-TAg transgenic mice in which their cells harbor an osteocalcin (OC and/or OCN) promoter-driving immortal gene SV40 TAg. Based on our previous in situ studies, CM subclones were identified as cells expressing bone sialoprotein (BSP) and OCN transcripts, while PDL cell lines were designated as cells lacking BSP and OCN messenger RNA (mRNA). CMs exhibited a cuboidal appearance and promoted biomineralization, both in vitro and in vivo. In contrast, PDL cells (PDL subclones) displayed a spindle-shaped morphology and lacked the ability to promote mineralized nodule formation, both in vitro and in vivo. Next, using these subclones, the effect of PTHrP on cementogenesis was studied. CMs, not PDL cells, expressed PTH/PTHrP receptor mRNA and exhibited PTHrP-mediated elevation in cyclic adenosine monophosphate (cAMP) levels and c-fos gene induction. PTHrP stimulation repressed mRNA expression of BSP and OCN in CMs and blocked CM-mediated mineralization, in vitro. Collectively, these data suggest that CMs possess PTH/PTHrP receptors and, thus, are direct targets for PTHrP action during cementogenesis and that PTHrP may serve as an important regulator of cementogenesis.