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The role of the ERK1/2 pathway in simvastatin-loaded nanomicelles and simvastatin in regulating the osteogenic effect in MG63 cells

Authors Niu M, Feng X, Zhou L

Received 7 August 2018

Accepted for publication 23 October 2018

Published 5 December 2018 Volume 2018:13 Pages 8165—8178

DOI https://doi.org/10.2147/IJN.S182998

Checked for plagiarism Yes

Review by Single-blind

Peer reviewers approved by Dr Andrew Yee

Peer reviewer comments 2

Editor who approved publication: Dr Mian Wang


Mao Niu,1,* Xianling Feng,2,* Lei Zhou3

1Department of Stomatology, School of Medical Technology and Nursing, Shenzhen Polytechnic, Shenzhen, 518055, China; 2Department of Pathology, School of Medical, Shenzhen University, Shenzhen, 518060, China; 3Center of Oral Implantology, Guangdong Provincial Stomatological Hospital, Southern Medical University, Guangzhou, 510280, China

*These authors contributed equally to this work and should be considered as co-first authors

Objectives: The present study aimed to clarify the role of the ERK1/2 pathway in simvastatin (SV)-loaded nanomicelles (SVNs)- and SV-mediated promotion of cell osteogenic differentiation and explore the molecular mechanisms by which SVNs exhibited a greater efficacy in promoting osteogenic differentiation than SV.
Materials and methods: SVNs were synthesized using a dialysis method. MG63 cells were treated with 2.5, 0.25, and 0.025 µmol/L of the drug. The optimal drug dosage was determined by examining the proliferative activity and ALP activity of the MG63 cells. Subsequently, Western blot analysis was performed to analyze the levels of the phosphorylated ERK1/2 proteins in each experimental group at various time points. Finally, the inhibitor PD98059 was used to effectively inhibit the ERK1/2 pathway. The resulting changes in the proliferative activity of MG63 cells and the osteogenesis-related markers were analyzed.
Results: The SVNs synthesized in the present study had a mean diameter of 27 nm. The encapsulation and drug-loading efficiencies were 52.03% ± 4.05% and 9.42% ± 0.66%, respectively. SVNs and SV exhibited optimum osteogenesis-promoting effects when the drugs were administered at a concentration of 0.25 µmol/L. The drug-induced activation of the ERK1/2 pathway reached a peak at 15 minutes after administration and then declined rapidly. From 24 hours to 7 days, SVNs and SV exerted an inhibitory effect on the ERK1/2 pathway rather than an activating effect. Throughout the whole experimental process, the regulatory effect of SVNs on the ERK1/2 pathway was significantly greater than that of SV. Inhibition of the ERK1/2 pathway by PD98059 markedly reduced the proliferative activity of the cells in all experimental groups. In addition, the ALP activity and the expression levels of the osterix (OSX) and osteocalcin (OC) proteins were drastically increased.
Conclusion: SVNs significantly increased the effect of SV-induced osteogenic differentiation by strongly inhibiting the ERK1/2 pathway.

Keywords: simvastatin-loaded nanomicelles, ERK1/2 pathway, dental implant restoration, osteogenic effect

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