Basic Research| Volume 49, ISSUE 4, P410-418, April 2023

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Prostaglandin E2-Transporting Pathway and Its Roles via EP2/EP4 in Cultured Human Dental Pulp

Published:February 07, 2023DOI:



      Prostaglandin E2 (PGE2) exerts biological actions through its transport pathway involving intracellular synthesis, extracellular transport, and receptor binding. This study aimed to determine the localization of the components of the PGE2-transporting pathway in human dental pulp and explore the relevance of PGE2 receptors (EP2/EP4) to angiogenesis and dentinogenesis.


      Protein localization of microsomal PGE2 (mPGES)synthase, PGE2 transporters (multidrug resistance-associated protein-4 [MRP4] and prostaglandin transporter [PGT]), and EP2/EP4 was analyzed using double immunofluorescence staining. Tooth slices from human third molars were cultured with or without butaprost (EP2 agonist) or rivenprost (EP4 agonist) for 1 week. Morphometric analysis of endothelial cell filopodia was performed to evaluate angiogenesis, and real-time polymerase chain reaction was performed to evaluate angiogenesis and odontoblast differentiation markers.


      MRP4 and PGT were colocalized with mPGES and EP2/EP4 in odontoblasts and endothelial cells. Furthermore, MRP4 was colocalized with mPGES and EP4 in human leukocyte antigen-DR-expressing dendritic cells. In the tooth slice culture, EP2/EP4 agonists induced significant increases in the number and length of filopodia and mRNA expression of angiogenesis markers (vascular endothelial growth factor and fibroblast growth factor-2) and odontoblast differentiation markers (dentin sialophosphoprotein and collagen type 1).


      PGE2-producing enzyme (mPGES), transporters (MRP4 and PGT), and PGE2-specific receptors (EP2/EP4) were immunolocalized in various cellular components of the human dental pulp. EP2/EP4 agonists promoted endothelial cell filopodia generation and upregulated angiogenesis- and odontoblast differentiation-related genes, suggesting that PGE2 binding to EP2/EP4 is associated with angiogenic and dentinogenic responses.

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