Effects of growth factors on temporomandibular joint disc cells

Michael S. Detamore, Kyriacos A. Athanasiou

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

53 Scopus citations


The effects of growth factors on cartilaginous tissues are well documented. An exception is the temporomandibular joint (TMJ) disc, where data for growth factor effects on proliferation and biosynthesis are very limited. The purpose of this study was to quantify proliferation of and synthesis by TMJ disc cells cultured in monolayer with either platelet derived growth factor-AB (PDGF), basic fibroblast growth factor (bFGF) or insulin-like growth factor-I (IGF), at either a low (10 ng/ml) or high (100 ng/ml) concentration. Proliferation was assessed with a DNA quantitation technique, collagen synthesis was measured via a hydroxyproline assay, and GAG synthesis was determined with a dimethylmethylene blue dye binding assay at 14 days. Overall, the most beneficial growth factor was bFGF, which was most potent in increasing proliferation and GAG synthesis, and also effective in promoting collagen synthesis. At the high concentration, bFGF resulted in 96% more cells than the control and 30 to 45% more cells than PDGF and IGF. PDGF and bFGF were the most potent upregulators of GAG synthesis, producing 2-3 times more GAG than the control. IGF had no significant effect on GAG production, although at its higher concentration it increased collagen production by 4.5 times over the control. Collagen synthesis was promoted by bFGF at its lower concentration, with levels 4.2 times higher than the control, whereas PDGF had no significant effect on collagen production. In general, higher concentrations increased proliferation, whereas lower concentrations favoured biosynthesis.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)577-583
Number of pages7
JournalArchives of Oral Biology
Issue number7
StatePublished - Jul 2004
Externally publishedYes


  • basic fibroblast growth factor
  • bFGF
  • BMP
  • bone morphogenic protein
  • EGF
  • epidermal growth factor
  • FGF
  • fibroblast growth factor
  • GH
  • growth hormone
  • hepatocyte growth factor
  • HGF
  • IGF
  • IL
  • insulin-like growth factor
  • interleukin
  • PDGF
  • platelet derived growth factor

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Dentistry(all)


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