MATERIALS & METHODS: This is a case-control study consisting of 47 MDD patients and 47 healthy controls. MDD patients were treated with antidepressant drugs according to their physician's choice. The severity of MDD was assessed using Beck Depression Inventory (BDI) and Montgomery-Asberg Depression Rating Scale (MADRS) at the time of recruitment. Healthy controls completed the Depression Anxiety Scoring System (DASS21) questionnaire to ensure they were in good mental health without history of MDD. The percentage and absolute count of CD4+ CD25+ Tregs and CD4+ CD25+ FOXP3+ Tregs were identified by multiparameter flow cytometry.
RESULTS: The percentage and absolute count of CD4+ CD25+ Treg cells were significantly higher in MDD patients than in healthy controls (P<0.001, in both cases). Likewise, the percentage and absolute count of CD4+ CD25+ FOXP3+ Treg cells were also significantly higher in MDD patients compared to healthy controls (P=0.003 and P=0.002, respectively). However, there was no significant correlation between the percentage and absolute count of CD4+ CD25+ Treg and CD4+ CD25+ FOXP3+ Treg cells with BDI or MADRS score.
CONCLUSIONS: Our results suggest that antidepressant treatments contributed to an upregulation of Tregs in MDD patients.
MATERIALS AND METHODS: The differentiation of fibroblast-like cells from SHED was carried out by using specific human recombinant connective tissue growth factor (CTGF). To characterize fibroblastic differentiation, the induced cells were subjected to morphological changes, proliferation rate, gene expression analysis using quantitative reverse transcription-polymerase chain reaction (qRT-PCR), flow cytometry, and immunofluorescence staining. The commercial primary human gingival fibroblasts served as positive control in this study.
RESULTS: The results from characterization analysis were compared with that of commercial cells to ensure that the cells differentiated from SHED were fibroblast-like cells. The results showed the inductive effect of CTGF for fibroblastic differentiation in SHED. SHED-derived fibroblasts were successfully characterized despite having similar morphological appearance, i.e., (i) significant proliferation rate between fibroblast-like cells and SHED, (ii) high expression of fibroblast-associated markers in qRT-PCR analysis, and (iii) positive staining against collagen type 1, fibroblast-specific protein 1, and human thymic fibroblasts in flow cytometry analysis and immunofluorescence staining. The same expression patterns were found in primary human gingival fibroblasts, respectively. SHED as negative control showed lower expression or no signal, thus confirming the cells differentiated from SHED were fibroblast-like cells.
CONCLUSIONS: Taken together, the protocol adopted in this study suggests CTGF to be an appropriate inducer in the differentiation of SHED into fibroblast-like cells.
CLINICAL RELEVANCE: The fibroblast-like cells differentiated from SHED could be used in future in vitro and in vivo dental tissue regeneration studies as well as in clinical applications where these cells are needed.