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Connect Tissue Res. 2002;43(2-3):409-12.

Establishment of dental epithelial cell line (HAT-7) and the cell differentiation dependent on Notch signaling pathway.

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Department of Oral Anatomy and Cell Biology, Kyushu Dental College, 2-6-1, Manazuru, Kokurakita-ku, Kitakyushu, Japan 803-8580.


Rat incisors grow continuously throughout life. Producing a variety of dental epithelial cells is performed by stem cells located in the cervical loop of the incisor apex. To study the mechanisms for cell differentiation, we established a dental epithelial cell line (HAT-7) originating from a cervical loop epithelium of a rat incisor. Immunochemical studies showed that HAT-7 produced the cells expressing amelogenin, ameloblastin, or alkaline phosphatase (ALP). To illustrate a role of Notch signaling in the determinant of the cell fate, we examined expression patterns of Notch1 and Jagged1 in HAT-7 density dependently. At lower cell density, Notch1- or Jagged1-expressing cells were not seen. However, when they were fully confluent, cells began to express Notch1 or Jagged1 strongly. Some ALP-positive cells were almost consistent with Notch1-expressing cells but not Jagged1-expressing cells. These results suggested that the determinant of direction of differentiation was associated with Notch signaling pathway.

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