Pannexin3 inhibits TNF-α-induced inflammatory response by suppressing NF-κB signalling pathway in human dental pulp cells

Fangfang Song, Hualing Sun, Yake Wang, Hongye Yang, Liyuan Huang, Dongjie Fu, Jing Gan, Cui Huang

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

18 Citations (Scopus)


Human dental pulp cells (HDPCs) play a crucial role in dental pulp inflammation. Pannexin 3 (Panx3), a member of Panxs (Pannexins), has been recently found to be involved in inflammation. However, the mechanism of Panx3 in human dental pulp inflammation remains unclear. In this study, the role of Panx3 in inflammatory response was firstly explored, and its potential mechanism was proposed. Immunohistochemical staining showed that Panx3 levels were diminished in inflamed human and rat dental pulp tissues. In vitro, Panx3 expression was significantly down-regulated in HDPCs following a TNF-α challenge in a concentration-dependent way, which reached the lowest level at 10 ng/ml of TNF-α. Such decrease could be reversed by MG132, a proteasome inhibitor. Unlike MG132, BAY 11-7082, a NF-κB inhibitor, even reinforced the inhibitory effect of TNF-α. Quantitative real-time PCR (qRT-PCR) and enzyme-linked immunosorbent assay (ELISA) were used to investigate the role of Panx3 in inflammatory response of HDPCs. TNF-α-induced pro-inflammatory cytokines, interleukin (IL)-1β and IL-6, were significantly lessened when Panx3 was overexpressed in HDPCs. Conversely, Panx3 knockdown exacerbated the expression of pro-inflammatory cytokines. Moreover, Western blot, dual-luciferase reporter assay, immunofluorescence staining, qRT-PCR and ELISA results showed that Panx3 participated in dental pulp inflammation in a NF-κB-dependent manner. These findings suggested that Panx3 has a defensive role in dental pulp inflammation, serving as a potential target to be exploited for the intervention of human dental pulp inflammation.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)444-455
Number of pages12
JournalJournal of Cellular and Molecular Medicine
Issue number3
Publication statusPublished - 2017 Mar 1
Externally publishedYes


  • human dental pulp cells
  • NF-κB
  • Pannexin3
  • proteasome
  • pulpitis
  • TNF-α

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Molecular Medicine
  • Cell Biology


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