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Development. 2006 Apr;133(7):1359-66. Epub 2006 Mar 1.

Cessation of Fgf10 signaling, resulting in a defective dental epithelial stem cell compartment, leads to the transition from crown to root formation.

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  • 1Department of Oral Anatomy and Developmental Biology, Osaka University Graduate School of Dentistry, Osaka, Japan.


Mouse, rat and human molars begin to form root after the completion of crown formation. In these teeth, fibroblast growth factor (Fgf) 10 disappears in the transitional stage from crown formation to root. By contrast, rodent incisors and vole molars demonstrate continuous growth, owing to the formation and maintenance of a stem cell compartment by the constant expression of Fgf10. To clarify the relationship between root formation and disappearance of Fgf10, we carried out two experiments for the loss and gain of Fgf10 function. First, we examined postnatal growth in the incisors of Fgf10-deficient mice, which have the defect of a dental epithelial stem cell compartment referred to as ;apical bud', after implantation under the kidney capsule. The growth at the labial side in the mutant mice mimics the development of limited-growth teeth. 5'-Bromo-2'-deoxyuridine (BrdU) labeling and cytokeratin (CK) 14 and Notch2 immunostaining suggested that the inhibition of inner enamel epithelium growth and the more-active proliferation of the outer enamel epithelium and/or stellate reticulum result in Hertwig's epithelial root sheath formation. Second, we examined the effects of Fgf10 overexpression in the transitional stage of molar germs, which led to the formation of apical bud involving in the inhibition of HERS formation. Taken together, these results suggest that the disappearance of Fgf10 signaling leads to the transition from crown to root formation, owing to the loss of a dental epithelial stem cell compartment.

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