Award Date

May 2023

Degree Type


Degree Name

Master of Science (MS)


Dental Medicine

First Committee Member

Karl Kingsley

Second Committee Member

Brian Chrzan

Third Committee Member

Katherine Howard

Fourth Committee Member

Maxim Gakh

Number of Pages



Introduction: Many studies are now evaluating the potential for dental pulp stem cells (DPSC) to assist with more complex and biotechnology applications, such as facilitating and promoting osseointegration following dental implants. However, the effects of factors that may control osseointegration and bone repair using DPSC including bone morphogenic proteins (BMP-2, BMP-4) are not yet well understood.Objective: Based upon this lack of evidence, the primary goal of this project is to evaluate the potential effects of BMPs (alone or in combination with other growth factors) to induce factors associated with osteogenesis. Methods: DPSC isolates from an existing repository (n = 13) were plated into 96-well experimental assays with the addition of BMP2, BMP-4 or a combination. Viability and growth assays were performed and RNA was collected and screened using quantitative polymerase chain reaction (qPCR). Results: BMP-2 administration induced increased proliferation and viability among two rapidly dividing DPSC isolates, while administration of BMP-4 induced similar responses among different rapid and all the intermediate dividing DPSC isolates. The combination of BMP-2 and BMP-4 induced differential increases in growth and viability among a distinct subset of rapidly and slowly dividing DPSC isolates that did not respond to the isolated administration of BMP-2 or BMP-4 alone. In addition, the increased growth and proliferation among these distinct isolates was associated with increased expression of alkaline phosphatase (ALP). Conclusions: These results suggest that BMP-2 and BMP-4 (both alone and in combination) are sufficient to induce the production of the early bone biomarkers ALP within specific subsets of the DPSC isolates evaluated. Although these results represent a significant step towards our understanding of DPSC biology, further research will be needed to determine the additional factors and biomarkers that may facilitate osteogenic differentiation. Key words: Dental Pulp Stem Cells (DPSC); BMP-2, BMP-4; Quantitative Polymerase Chain Reaction (qPCR); Alkaline Phosphatase (ALP)



Degree Grantor

University of Nevada, Las Vegas




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Dentistry Commons