Fibroblasts: The Main Components of Connective Tissue

Fibroblasts are specialized cells that are often identified by their spindle-like shape and expression of the protein Vimentin. They are found in connective tissue throughout the body and where they produce collagen and the extracellular matrix. Fibroblasts are also key players in inflammation and wound healing, and their dysfunction is implicated in diseases like atherosclerosis. In particular, gingival fibroblasts (discussed below) are found in the periodontal connective tissue in the mouth, where they are involved in periodontal homeostasis. Similar to other tissue types, dysfunction of gingival fibroblasts is involved in periodontal inflammation and disease.

The Lifeline® catalog of fibroblasts includes fibroblasts from multiple sources, including the following:

Recent Research Using Lifeline® Gingival Fibroblasts

Dental implants are common solutions for replacing teeth that have been lost following injury or disease, among other events. The long-term durability of an implant, however, depends on the quality of the cement that holds the crown (the “tooth” element of the implant) to the part of the implant attached to the implant anchor (called the abutment). One of the challenges associated with cement-retained dental implants is the difficulty in removing excess cement following the implantation procedure; residual cement can cause inflammation of the tissue. In addition, implants are often composed of commercially pure titanium (cpTi). Therefore, the development of more biocompatible implant materials may lead to longer-lasting dental implants.

To address this challenge and compare the biocompatibility of cement alone or cemented-cpTi, Marvin and colleagues tested the cytotoxicity of five dental cement compositions. These compositions included nanostructurally integrated bioceramic (NIB), resin (R), resin-modified glass ionomer cement (RMGIC), zinc phosphate (ZP), and zinc oxide eugenol (ZOE). The researchers tested the effects of each cement composition with or without cpTi on the viability of Lifeline® human gingival fibroblasts (a soft tissue cell type) and the murine MC3T3-E1 preosteoblast cell line (a bone tissue cell type) over the course of 24 hours.

The authors found that the most toxic dental cement compositions were R, RMGIC, and ZOE, treatment of which resulted in the lowest viability in both cell types. Accordingly, NIB and ZP cement treatments were the least cytotoxic cement compositions in both cell types. Different results were observed following treatment with each cement-cpTi composition: R-cpTi, NIB-cpTi, and ZP-cpTi did not affect cytotoxicity compared with each respective cement alone; in contrast, RMGIC-cpTi treatment had significantly greater cytotoxic effects than RMGIC cement alone, while ZOE-cpTi treatment had significantly lower cytotoxic effects than ZOE cement alone.

Together, the results of this study illustrate that NIB and ZP implant cements, two fluoride-containing cements, had the least cytotoxic properties, regardless of whether they were combined with cpTi, suggesting that of the five compositions tested, these may be the most biocompatible with soft and bone-forming tissues.

If your New Year’s resolution is to use more Lifeline® products in your research, we want to hear about it! Let us know how you are using our products and your study could be featured here on the blog!