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

Osaka-Dental-University-Susceptible rats (ODUS/Odu) are a useful animal model for human perio-dontal 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 ex-pression profiles of embryonic fibroblasts obtained from 13.5-day-old embryos of ODUS/Odu or con-trol 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. Real-time 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