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Curr Opin Genet Dev. 2004 Oct;14(5):513-9.

TNF signalling in tooth development.

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  • 1Department of Craniofacial Development, Dental Institute, King's College, Guy's Hospital, London Bridge, London SE1 9RT, UK.


Mammalian tooth development has served as an excellent model system to investigate the intricate, interactive mechanisms of patterning, morphogenesis and cytodifferentiation during organogenesis. Teeth develop from interactions between epithelium and neural crest-derived (ecto)mesenchyme that are largely mediated by ligand-receptor signalling. It is well-established that signalling molecules of the Bmp, Fgf, Wnt and Hedgehog families, are involved at multiple stages of tooth development. Recently, however, a specific role for molecules belonging to the TNF-family of ligands in tooth morphogenesis has been identified, suggesting that this pathway, acting to activate NF-kappaB, has played an important role in the development and evolution of tooth number and shape.

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