Reduction of alkaline phosphatase activity in aged human osteogenic periodontal ligament fibroblasts exhibiting short telomeres

Yoshihiko Sawa, Yuji Yamaoka, Shin Ichiro Kuroshima, Shigemitsu Yoshida

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5 Citations (Scopus)


The osteogenic cell type of human periodontal ligament fibroblasts (PDLF) undergoes senescence at finite population doubling numbers unrelated to donor ages. This study investigated telomere lengths of osteogenic PDLF from differently aged donors and alterations of the osteoblast-like properties in the aged PDLF with short telomeres. Telomere lengths of osteogenic PDLF were biased towards long or short among all 15- to 51-year-old individuals, and did not show a normal distribution by Pearson's test or a correlation to donor age by simple regression analysis. In osteogenic PDLF, senescence-associated β-galactosidase was expressed in 78.5% of cells in the clones with short telomeres (mean 3.02 kbp), and in 9.4% of cells in the clones with long telomeres (mean 13.06 kbp). These results suggest that human periodontium comprises aged osteogenic PDLF without correlation to age. Osteogenic PDLF with long telomeres strongly expressed alkaline phosphatase (ALPase) activity whereas cells with short telomeres expressed ALPase activity to a weaker extent. Total activity of ALPase in the clones of osteogenic PDLF with long telomeres was significantly higher than that in the clones with short telomeres. The produced amounts of both osteopontin and osteocalcin in the clones of osteogenic PDLF with long telomeres were slightly but statistically significantly smaller than those in the clones with short telomeres. These findings suggest that aged osteogenic PDLF reduce the expression of ALPase activity but that there is not a critical alteration in bone-associated protein production. Aged osteogenic PDLF may impair the ability to induce ALPase-dependent calcification.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)331-337
Number of pages7
JournalCell and Tissue Research
Issue number3
Publication statusPublished - Mar 1 2004
Externally publishedYes



  • Alkaline phosphatase
  • Cell culture (human)
  • Osteocalcin
  • Osteopontin
  • Periodontal ligament fibroblasts
  • Telomere

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Pathology and Forensic Medicine
  • Histology
  • Cell Biology

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