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J Oral Pathol Med. 1999 Aug;28(7):293-6.

Development of transplanted pulp tissue containing epithelial sheath into a tooth-like structure.

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Department of Oral Cell Biology, ACTA, Vrije Universiteit, Amsterdam, The Netherlands.


The aim of these studies was to find out whether intact neonatal pulp tissue containing residual epithelial cells can induce the development of a tooth-like structure in situ. First maxillary neonatal hamster molar pulps containing adhering undifferentiated epithelial cells were transplanted submucosally in the oral cavity of recipient mothers for periods ranging from 2-8 weeks and the tissues were then processed for light microscopy. Developing tooth-like structures containing mineralised tubular dentine, predentine and a vascularised pulp-like chamber lined with functional odontoblast-like cells were observed in the specimens within 2 weeks of transplantation. Enamel and root formation were not observed. These data indicate that neonatal dental pulp tissues containing epithelial cell remnants have the capacity to develop into tooth-like structures and that this could be the explanation for the development of tooth-like structures sometimes observed in infants after extraction of a natal tooth.

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