Document Type




Format of Original

5 p.

Publication Date




Source Publication

Journal of Endodontics

Source ISSN


Original Item ID

doi: 10.1016/j.joen.2011.03.031; PubMed Central: PMCID 3122157



The growth factors insulin-like growth factor (IGF-1) and transforming growth factor-β (TGF-β) are protective to dental pulp cells in culture against the toxicity of the composite materials Durafill VS and Flow Line (Henry Schein Inc, New York, NY). Because the toxicity of these materials is mediated by oxidative stress, it seemed possible that the protective effects of IGF-1 and TGF-β were through the enhancement of an endogenous antioxidant mechanism.


We used cultured dental pulp cells to determine the mechanism of the protective effects of IGF-1 and TGF-β, focusing on the glutathione system and the role of cystine/glutamate exchange (system xc-).


We found that the toxicity of Durafill VS and Flow Line was attenuated by the addition of glutathione monoethylester, suggesting a specific role for the cellular antioxidant glutathione. Supporting this hypothesis, we found that IGF-1 and TGF-β were protective against the toxicity of the glutathione synthesis inhibitor buthionine sulfoximine. Because levels of cellular cystine are the limiting factor in the production of glutathione, we tested the effects of IGF-1 and TGF-β on cystine uptake. Both growth factors stimulated system xc–mediated cystine uptake. Furthermore, they attenuated the glutathione depletion induced by Durafill VS and Flow Line.


The results suggest that IGF-1 and TGF-β are protective through the stimulation of system xc–mediated cystine uptake, leading to maintenance of cellular glutathione. This novel action of growth factors on dental pulp cells has implications not only for preventing toxicity of dental materials but also for the general function of these cells.


Accepted version. Journal of Endodontics, Vol. 37, No. 7 (July 2011): 943-947. DOI. © Elsevier 2011. Used with permission.

NOTICE: this is the author’s version of a work that was accepted for publication in Journal of Endodontics. Changes resulting from the publishing process, such as peer review, editing, corrections, structural formatting, and other quality control mechanisms may not be reflected in this document. Changes may have been made to this work since it was submitted for publication. A definitive version was subsequently published in Journal of Endodontics, VOL 37, ISSUE 7, July 2011, DOI.

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