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Arch Oral Biol. 1992 Aug;37(8):645-53.

Transforming growth factor-beta 1 mRNA in neonatal ovine molars visualized by in situ hybridization: potential role for the stratum intermedium.

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Graduate Periodontics, Loma Linda University, CA 92350.


Human dentine contains relatively large amounts of transforming growth factor-beta (TGF-beta), which might originate from odontoblasts. The expression of the TGF-beta 1 message in developing teeth was examined by in situ hybridization. The analysis was made on 5-microns serial sections of mandibular third molars of neonatal sheep cut from tissues that had been fixed in glutaraldehyde and paraffin-embedded. A 35S-labelled cRNA probe, complementary to TGF-beta 1 mRNA, was constructed from human TGF-beta 1 cDNA. Northern analysis of total RNA from sheep placenta and neonatal third molars demonstrated hybridization to a single 2.4 kb TGF-beta 1 transcript from both tissues, indicating cross-reactivity of the human probe in the sheep. In the neonatal molars, in situ hybridization was observed in cells of the inner enamel epithelium, mature ameloblasts and mature odontoblasts, but not within preodontoblasts before dentine matrix formation. TGF-beta 1 mRNA expression was also evident in the cells of the dental papilla but scarcely so in the stellate reticulum. The most striking feature was the appearance of hybridization signal in the cells of the stratum intermedium before hybridization was evident in the inner enamel epithelium. Control sections incubated with RNAase before incubation with probe did not show evidence of hybridization. These findings suggest that TGF-beta 1 may have an important regulatory role in the differentiation of ameloblasts and odontoblasts, perhaps by modulating matrix formation during amelogenesis or odontogenesis. They also suggest a potential novel regulatory role for the cells of the stratum intermedium.

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