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J Oral Pathol Med. 1999 Sep;28(8):337-42.

Expression of laminin-5 in ameloblastomas and human fetal teeth.

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Department of Diagnostic and Oral Medicine, Institute of Dentistry, University of Oulu, Finland.


Extracellular matrix proteins have been shown to play important roles in the cell migration and differentiation in both normal and pathological conditions. In the present study, we used immunohistochemistry and in situ hybridization to determine the distribution of laminin-5 in ameloblastomas and developing human teeth. In ameloblastomas, the immunoreaction for the laminin-5 gamma2 chain was confined to the tumor cells of the peripheral area. The staining reaction was variable, being mostly weak and fragmented in the basement membrane structures surrounding the neoplastic islands. Some peripheral epithelial cells and some invading small ameloblastoma cell islands showed intense intracellular staining for the gamma2 chain. Tumor cells in the proliferating areas of ameloblastomas expressed gamma2 chain mRNA. The laminin-5 gamma2 chain was located beneath the dental lamina and in the outer, but not in the inner, enamel epithelium of the developing teeth. During the early hard tissue apposition stage, intense staining for the gamma2 chain was confined to ameloblasts, which also gave a strong signal for gamma2 chain mRNA. These results suggest that laminin-5 may contribute to the infiltrative and progressive growing potential of ameloblastomas. During human tooth development, however, laminin-5 may participate in the terminal differentiation of ameloblasts and in enamel matrix formation.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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