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Calcif Tissue Int. 2003 Nov;73(5):496-501. Epub 2003 Sep 10.

Fgf-2 regulates enamel and dentine formation in mouse tooth germ.

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  • 1Department of Pharmacology, School of Dentistry, Aichi-Gakuin University, Japan. tubo3@fc.freeserve.ne.jp


We examined the effects of basic fibroblast growth factor (FGF-2) on cultured lower molar tooth germ at the differentiative (bell) stage. Although FGF-2 has been detected in odontogenesis, its roles in biological activities, such as cell proliferation, differentiation and extracellular matrix mineralization are unclear. We assayed mRNA levels of the differentiation markers, dentine sialophosphoprotein (DSPP), amelogenin and alkaline phosphatase (ALP) using reverse transcription-polymerase chain reaction (RT-PCR), and histological methods. Tooth germs dissected from 17-day-old embryonic mice were cultured for 4 days with either recombinant human FGF-2 or specific antisense phosphorothioate oligodeoxynucleotide (antisense ODN) for FGF-2. Exogenous FGF-2 decreased the gene expression of differentiation markers in molars at the bell stage. Abrogation of endogenous FGF-2 by antisense ODN increased the gene expression of differentiation markers, and also significantly enhanced enamel and dentine formation. This histological change was recovered by adding exogeneous FGF-2. These findings suggest that FGF-2 at the bell stage regulates cell differentiation and matrix secretion.

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