TCDD inhibited the osteogenic differentiation of human fetal palatal mesenchymal cells through AhR and BMP-2/TGF-β/Smad signaling.


Center for Clinical Single-Cell Biomedicine, Henan Provincial People's Hospital, People's Hospital of Zhengzhou University, Zhengzhou, Henan, China; School of Public Health, Zhengzhou University, Zhengzhou, Henan, China. Electronic address: [Email]


Exposure to environmental toxicant 2,3,7,8-tetrachlorodibenzo-p-dioxin (TCDD) causes cleft palate at high rates, but little is known about the underlying biological mechanisms. In the present study, we cultured osteoblasts from human fetal palate mesenchymal cells (hFPMCs) to explore the effects of TCDD on osteogenic differentiation. The results showed that TCDD significantly decreased cell proliferation, alkaline phosphatase (ALP) activity and calcium deposition. RNA analyses and protein detection demonstrated that TCDD downregulated a wide array of pro-osteogenic biomarkers. Further investigation of the underlying molecular mechanisms revealed that exposure to TCDD activated aryl hydrocarbon receptor (AhR) signaling and inhibited BMP-2/TGF-β1/Smad pathway molecules. The inactivation of AhR signaling using CRISPR/Cas9-mediated AhR deletion or by genetic siRNA knockdown significantly blocked the effects induced by TCDD, suggesting a critical role of AhR activation in the TCDD-mediated inhibition of hFPMC osteogenic differentiation. The cotreatment with TGF-β1 or BMP-2 and TCDD significantly relieved the activation of AhR and rescued the impairment of osteogenesis caused by TCDD. Taken together, our findings indicated that TCDD inhibited the osteogenic differentiation of hFPMCs via crosstalk between AhR and BMP-2/TGF-β1/Smad signaling pathway.


AhR,BMP-2/TGF-β1/Smad pathway,Cleft palate,Osteogenic differentiation,TCDD,hFPMCs,

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