Aim: The present study aimed to characterize the expression pattern of chemokines obtained from inflamed periodontal defects and to determine the characteristics of human periodontal-ligament stem cells (hPDLSCs) migrated by each specific chemokine. Materials and Methods: Both inflamed and healthy periodontal tissues were obtained from periodontitis patients (n = 11), and the chemokine expression levels were analyzed. The periodontal-tissue-specific chemokines were applied to healthy hPDLSCs from extracted teeth (n = 3), with FGF-2 acting as a positive control. Cells were separated by selected chemokines using transwell method into migrated/unmigrated hPDLSCs. The characteristics of the hPDLSC subpopulation recruited by each chemokine were assessed, and gene expression pattern was analyzed by microarray. Results: Chemokines were categorized into three groups by specific patterns of “appearing,” “increasing,” and “decreasing/disappearing” from healthy to inflamed tissues. A representative chemokine from each group enhanced the capacities for colony formation and osteogenic/adipogenic differentiation while maintaining the surface markers of hPDLSCs. RANTES/CCL5 significantly increased the cellular migration of hPDLSCs, via enhancement of signaling pathways, regulation of the actin skeleton, and focal adhesion. Conclusion: The present study found a specific chemokine profile induced by inflammation in periodontal tissues, with RANTES/CCL5 appearing to play a role in the migration of hPDLSCs into inflammatory periodontal lesions.
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