Tanshinone IIA promotes osteogenic differentiation of human periodontal ligament stem cells via ERK1/2-dependent Runx2 induction.
Am J Transl Res. 2019 ;11(1):340-350. Epub 2019 Jan 15. PMID: 30787991
Mesenchymal stem cells (MSCs) of the dental or craniofacial origin include Human periodontal ligament stem cells (hPDLSCs), which are able to readily differentiate into osteoblasts. Tanshinone IIA (TSA) is a diterpene quinone compound that is derived from Danshen (also known as Salvia miltiorrhiza) used frequently in the context of traditional Chinese medicine (TCM). This study sought to assess how TSA affects the osteogenic differentiation of hPDLSCs. We found that TSA promotes both this differentiation and hPDLSC maturation. This was dependent on TSA-mediated activation of the ERK1/2 signaling pathway, and ERK1/2 inhibition disrupted TSA-induced Runx2 expression. From these results, we conclude that TSA can induce hPDLSC osteogenesis through the ERK1/2-Runx2 axis, suggesting that TSA is a viable therapeutic option for regenerative medical approaches aimed at the treatment of periodontitis.