• growth hormone;
  • bone morphogenetic protein;
  • bone formation marker;
  • periodontium;
  • cementum


The hypothesis that growth hormone (GH) up-regulates the expression of enzymes, matrix proteins, and differentiation markers involved in mineralization of tooth and bone matrices was tested by the treatment of Lewis dwarf rats with GH over 5 days. The molar teeth and associated alveolar bone were processed for immunohistochemical demonstration of bone morphogenetic proteins 2 and 4 (BMP-2 and -4), bone morphogenetic protein type IA receptor (BMPR-IA), bone alkaline phosphatase (ALP), osteocalcin (OC), osteopontin (OPN), bone sialoprotein (BSP), and E11 protein (E11). The cementoblasts, osteoblasts, and periodontal ligament (PDL) cells responded to GH by expressing BMP-2 and -4, BMPR-IA, ALP, OC, and OPN and increasing the numbers of these cells. No changes were found in patterns of expression of the late differentiation markers BSP and E11 in response to GH. Thus, GH evokes expression of bone markers of early differentiation in cementoblasts, PDL cells, and osteoblasts of the periodontium. We propose that the induction of BMP-2 and -4 and their receptor by GH compliments the role of GH-induced insulin-like growth factor 1 (IGF-1) in promoting bone and tooth root formation.