Publication details

Early regression of the dental lamina underlies the development of diphyodont dentitions



Year of publication 2012
Type Article in Periodical
Magazine / Source Journal of Dental Research
MU Faculty or unit

Faculty of Medicine

Field ORL, ophthalmology, stomatology
Keywords Developmental biology; dental morphology; tooth development; odontogenesis; apoptosis; epithelial-mesenchymal interactions
Description Functional tooth germs in mammals, reptiles, and chondrichthyans are initiated from a dental lamina. The longevity of the lamina plays a role in governing the number of tooth generations. Monophyodont species have no replacement dental lamina, while polyphyodont species have a permanent continuous lamina. In diphyodont species, the dental lamina fragments and regresses after initiation of the second tooth generation. Regression of the lamina seems to be an important mechanism in preventing the further development of replacement teeth. Defects in the complete removal of the lamina lead to cyst formation and has been linked to ameloblastomas. Here, we show the previously unknown mechanisms behind the disappearance of the dental lamina, involving a combination of cell migration, cell-fate transformation, and apoptosis. Lamina regression starts with the loss of the basement membrane, allowing the epithelial cells to break away from the lamina and migrate into the surrounding mesenchyme. Cells deactivate epithelial markers (E-cadherin, cytokeratin), up-regulate Slug and MMP2, and activate mesenchymal markers (vimentin), while residual lamina cells are removed by apoptosis. The uncovering of the processes behind lamina degradation allows us to clarify the evolution of diphyodonty, and provides a mechanism for future manipulation of the number of tooth generations.
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