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Oral Surg Oral Med Oral Pathol. 1992 Dec;74(6):761-7.

Polyoma virus-induced murine odontogenic tumors.

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University of Southern California, Los Angeles 23146.


Neonatal mouse pups were injected subcutaneously with polyoma virus to induce odontogenic tumors. This treatment resulted in a spectrum of tumors that arose in organs dependent upon epithelial-mesenchymal interactions for their organogenesis, which included the teeth, salivary glands, thymus, and lacrimal glands. In addition, several odontogenic tumors with a histologic resemblance to ameloblastoma were identified and analyzed with respect to the presence of markers specific for various stages of ameloblast differentiation. Immunodetection analyses of the odontogenic tumors identified fibronectin and laminin, typical of basement membrane organization during early tooth organogenesis. These same tumors failed to express amelogenin, a gene whose expression is limited to differentiated ameloblasts. In contrast, a 47 kDa enamelin-like polypeptide was identified with the use of an antienamelin antibody. These data were interpreted to suggest that the polyoma virus truncated the differentiation pathway for these odontogenic tissues at an early stage of their development and retained the expression of basement membrane components and the enamelin-like polypeptides, yet excluded expression of amelogenin gene products. This observation suggests that polyoma viral transformation may dysregulate odontogenic tissue interactions and produce tumors composed of cells arrested at a specific stage in their development.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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