Scleraxis and osterix antagonistically regulate tensile force-responsive remodeling of the periodontal ligament and alveolar bone

Aki Takimoto, Masayoshi Kawatsu, Yuki Yoshimoto, Tadafumi Kawamoto, Masahiro Seiryu, Teruko Takano-Yamamoto, Yuji Hiraki, Chisa Shukunami

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

63 Citations (Scopus)


The periodontal ligament (PDL) is a mechanosensitive noncalcified fibrous tissue connecting the cementum of the tooth and the alveolar bone. Here, we report that scleraxis (Scx) and osterix (Osx) antagonistically regulate tensile force-responsive PDL fibrogenesis and osteogenesis. In the developing PDL, Scx was induced during tooth eruption and co-expressed with Osx. Scx was highly expressed in elongated fibroblastic cells aligned along collagen fibers, whereas Osx was highly expressed in the perialveolar/apical osteogenic cells. In an experimental model of tooth movement, Scx and Osx expression was significantly upregulated in parallel with the activation of bone morphogenetic protein (BMP) signaling on the tension side, in which bone formation compensates for the widened PDL space away from the bone under tensile force by tooth movement. Scx was strongly expressed in Scx+/Osx+ and Scx+/Osx− fibroblastic cells of the PDL that does not calcify; however, Scx−/Osx+ osteogenic cells were dominant in the perialveolar osteogenic region. Upon BMP6-driven osteoinduction, osteocalcin, a marker for bone formation was downregulated and upregulated by Scx overexpression and knockdown of endogenous Scx in PDL cells, respectively. In addition, mineralization by osteoinduction was significantly inhibited by Scx overexpression in PDL cells without affecting Osx upregulation, suggesting that Scx counteracts the osteogenic activity regulated by Osx in the PDL. Thus, Scx+/Osx−, Scx+/Osx+ and Scx/Osx+ cell populations participate in the regulation of tensile force-induced remodeling of periodontal tissues in a position-specific manner.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)787-796
Number of pages10
JournalDevelopment (Cambridge)
Issue number4
Publication statusPublished - 2015 Feb 15


  • Mouse
  • Osterix
  • Periodontal ligament
  • Scleraxis
  • Tensile force

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Molecular Biology
  • Developmental Biology


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