ORIGINAL ARTICLE
Gene Expression Profiling of Embryonic Fibroblasts Derived from a Rat Model of Periodontal Disease

Tadashige Nozaki, Mitsuko Shinohara, Kazuya Iwamoto, Tsutomu Ohta and Kiyoshi Ohura
Department of Pharmacology, Osaka Dental University, 8-1, Kuzuhahanazono-cho, Hirakata, Osaka 573-1121, Japan

AATEX 11(1):79-85, 2005

Abstract
Osaka-Dental-University-Susceptible rats (ODUS/Odu) are a useful animal model for human periodontal disease. Through comprehensive gene expression profiling, we aimed to evaluate the utility of ODUS/Odu-derived cells as an alternative to animal models for biomedical research into human periodontal disease. Using a GeneChip Rat Expression Array containing 15923 probes, the gene expression profiles of embryonic fibroblasts obtained from 13.5-day-old embryos of ODUS/Odu or control rats were comprehensively analyzed. This profiling revealed alterations in some genes that are likely to be related to periodontal disease in ODUS/Odu, based on a comparison with genes found in databases. Osteopontin (OPN), which is involved in immune defense reactions, bone metabolism and chronic inflammation, was among the genes whose expressions were significantly altered. Realtime RT-PCR analysis showed that the OPN mRNA level was increased by more than 5.8-fold in ODUS/Odu. Moreover, the expression of CD44, a receptor for OPN, was also increased by more than 2.2-fold in ODUS/Odu. These findings support the view that OPN expression is associated with the progression of human periodontal disease. Therefore, these ODUS/Odu-derived cells may be a useful tool for studying the molecular mechanisms that underlie periodontal disease in humans.

Key words:animal model, periodontal disease, DNA microarray, gene expression profiling, embryonic fibroblast

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(AATEX: Altern. Animal Test. EXperiment.: Alternatives to Animal Testing and EXperimentation)