Ascorbic Acid/Retinol and/or Inflammatory Stimuli’s Effect on Proliferation/Differentiation Properties and Transcriptomics of Gingival Stem/Progenitor Cells
The present study explored the effects of ascorbic-acid (AA)/retinol and timed inflammation on the stemness, the regenerative potential, and the transcriptomics profile of gingival mesenchymal stem/progenitor cells’ (G-MSCs). STRO-1 (mesenchymal stem cell marker) immuno-magnetically sorted G-MSCs were cultured in basic medium (control group), in basic medium with IL-1β (1 ng/mL), TNF-α (10 ng/mL) and IFN-γ (100 ng/mL, inflammatory-medium), in basic medium with AA (250 µmol/L) and retinol (20 µmol/L) (AA/retinol group) or in inflammatory medium with AA/retinol (inflammatory/AA/retinol group; n = 5/group). The intracellular levels of phosphorylated and total β-Catenin at 1 h, the expression of stemness genes over 7 days, the number of colony-forming units (CFUs) as well as the cellular proliferation aptitude over 14 days, and the G-MSCs’ multilineage differentiation potential were assessed. Next-generation sequencing was undertaken to elaborate on up-/downregulated genes and altered intracellular pathways. G-MSCs demonstrated all mesenchymal stem/progenitor cells characteristics. Controlled inflammation with AA/retinol significantly elevated NANOG (p < 0.05). The AA/retinol-mediated reduction in intracellular phosphorylated β-Catenin was restored through the effect of controlled inflammation (p < 0.05). Cellular proliferation was highest in the AA/retinol group (p < 0.05).