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Int J Dev Biol. 2000 Apr;44(3):289-95.

Regeneration of halved embryonic lower first mouse molars: correlation with the distribution pattern of non dividing IDE cells, the putative organizers of morphogenetic units, the cusps.

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INSERM U-424, Institut de Biologie Médicale, Faculté de Médecine, Strasbourg, France.


Recently we demonstrated that non-cycling, cap-stage, mouse molar inner dental epithelial (IDE) cells corresponding to the primary enamel knot (EK) area underwent a coordinated temporo-spatial patterning leading to their patchy irregular segregation at the tips of the forming cusps. These non-cycling cells were suggested to perhaps represent the organizers of the morphogenetic units (OMU), the cusps. The present study has analyzed the regenerative capacity of halved cap-stage first lower mouse molars through three dimensional (3D) reconstructions. Partial regeneration of the anterior half and possible complete regeneration of the posterior half were documented. Using BrdU (5-bromo-2'-deoxyuridine) labeling and 3D reconstructions of the IDE, we have correlated the patterns of cusp regeneration with the distribution of BrdU negative IDE cells. These data support a morphogenetic role for the non-cycling IDE cells.

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