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Dev Biol. 2012 Jun 15;366(2):357-66. doi: 10.1016/j.ydbio.2012.03.012. Epub 2012 Apr 18.

E-cadherin regulates the behavior and fate of epithelial stem cells and their progeny in the mouse incisor.

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  • 1Department of Orofacial Sciences and Program in Craniofacial and Mesenchymal Biology, UCSF, USA.

Abstract

Stem cells are essential for the regeneration and homeostasis of many organs, such as tooth, hair, skin, and intestine. Although human tooth regeneration is limited, a number of animals have evolved continuously growing teeth that provide models of stem cell-based organ renewal. A well-studied model is the mouse incisor, which contains dental epithelial stem cells in structures known as cervical loops. These stem cells produce progeny that proliferate and migrate along the proximo-distal axis of the incisor and differentiate into enamel-forming ameloblasts. Here, we studied the role of E-cadherin in behavior of the stem cells and their progeny. Levels of E-cadherin are highly dynamic in the incisor, such that E-cadherin is expressed in the stem cells, downregulated in the transit-amplifying cells, re-expressed in the pre-ameloblasts and then downregulated again in the ameloblasts. Conditional inactivation of E-cadherin in the cervical loop led to decreased numbers of label-retaining stem cells, increased proliferation, and decreased cell migration in the mouse incisor. Using both genetic and pharmacological approaches, we showed that Fibroblast Growth Factors regulate E-cadherin expression, cell proliferation and migration in the incisor. Together, our data indicate that E-cadherin is an important regulator of stem cells and their progeny during growth of the mouse incisor.

Copyright © 2012 Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

PMID:
22537490
[PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]
PMCID:
PMC3690274
Free PMC Article
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