Gli1+ Periodontium Stem Cells Are Regulated by Osteocytes and Occlusal Force Academic Article uri icon


  • Teeth are attached to alveolar bone by the periodontal ligament (PDL), which contains stem cells supporting tissue turnover. Here, we identified Gli1+ cells in adult mouse molar PDL as multi-potential stem cells (PDLSCs) giving rise to PDL, alveolar bone, and cementum. They support periodontium tissue turnover and injury repair. Gli1+ PDLSCs are surrounding the neurovascular bundle and more enriched in the apical region. Canonical Wnt signaling is essential for their activation. Alveolar bone osteocytes negatively regulate Gli1+ PDLSCs activity through sclerostin, a Wnt inhibitor. Blockage of sclerostin accelerates the PDLSCs lineage contribution rate in vivo. Sclerostin expression is modulated by physiological occlusal force. Removal of occlusal force upregulates sclerostin and inhibits PDLSCs activation. In summary, Gli1+ cells are the multipotential PDLSCs in vivo. Osteocytes provide negative feedback to PDLSCs and inhibit their activities through sclerostin. Physiological occlusal force indirectly regulates PDLSCs activities by fine-tuning this feedback loop.

altmetric score

  • 4.1

author list (cited authors)

  • Men, Y. i., Wang, Y., Yi, Y., Jing, D., Luo, W., Shen, B. o., ... Zhao, H. u.

citation count

  • 7

publication date

  • July 2020