Osteoprotegerin is sensitive to actomyosin tension in human periodontal ligament fibroblasts. Academic Article uri icon


  • Periodontal ligament fibroblasts (PdLFs) are an elongated cell type in the periodontium with matrix and bone regulatory functions which become abnormal in periodontal disease (PD). Here we found that the normally elongated and oriented PdLF nucleus becomes rounded and loses orientation in a mouse model of PD. Using in vitro micropatterning of cultured primary PdLF cell shape, we show that PdLF elongation correlates with nuclear elongation and the presence of thicker, contractile F-actin fibers. The rounded nuclei in mouse PD models in vivo are, therefore, indicative of reduced actomyosin tension. Inhibiting actomyosin contractility by inhibiting myosin light chain kinase, Rho kinase or myosin ATPase activity, in cultured PdLFs each consistently reduced messenger RNA levels of bone regulatory protein osteoprotegerin (OPG). Infection of cultured PdLFs with two different types of periodontal bacteria (Porphyromonas gingivalis and Fusobacterium nucleatum) failed to recapitulate the observed nuclear rounding in vivo, upregulated nonmuscle myosin II phosphorylation and downregulated OPG. Collectively, our results add support to the hypothesis that PdLF contractility becomes decreased and contributes to disease progression in PD.

published proceedings

  • J Cell Physiol

altmetric score

  • 0.25

author list (cited authors)

  • Tamashunas, A. C., Katiyar, A., Zhang, Q., Purkayastha, P., Singh, P. K., Chukkapalli, S. S., & Lele, T. P.

citation count

  • 4

complete list of authors

  • Tamashunas, Andrew C||Katiyar, Aditya||Zhang, Qiao||Purkayastha, Purboja||Singh, Pankaj K||Chukkapalli, Sasanka S||Lele, Tanmay P

publication date

  • August 2021