Adrenergic receptors (ARs) are receptors of noradrenalin and adrenalin, of which there are nine different subtypes. In particular, β2 adrenergic receptor (β2-AR) is known to be related to the restoration and maintenance of homeostasis in bone and cardiac tissues; however, the functional role of signaling through β2-AR in periodontal ligament (PDL) tissue has not been fully examined. In this report, we investigated that β2-AR expression in PDL tissues and their features in PDL cells. β2-AR expressed in rat PDL tissues and human PDL cells (HPDLCs) derived from two different patients (HPDLCs-2G and -3S). Rat PDL tissue with occlusal loading showed high β2-AR expression, while its expression was downregulated in that without loading. In HPDLCs, β2-AR expression was increased exposed to stretch loading. The gene expression of PDL-related molecules was investigated in PDL clone cells (2-23 cells) overexpressing β2-AR. Their gene expression and intracellular cyclic adenosine monophosphate (cAMP) levels were also investigated in HPDLCs treated with a specific β2-AR agonist, fenoterol (FEN). Overexpression of β2-AR significantly promoted the gene expression of PDL-related molecules in 2 to 23 cells. FEN led to an upregulation in the expression of PDL-related molecules and increased intracellular cAMP levels in HPDLCs. In both HPDLCs, inhibition of cAMP signaling by using protein kinase A inhibitor suppressed the FEN-induced gene expression of α-smooth muscle actin. Our findings suggest that the occlusal force is important for β2-AR expression in PDL tissue and β2-AR is involved in fibroblastic differentiation and collagen synthesis of PDL cells. The signaling through β2-AR might be important for restoration and homeostasis of PDL tissue.
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