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J Mol Histol. 2005 Mar;36(3):171-8.

Immunolocalization of fibroblast growth factor-2 (FGF-2) in the developing root and supporting structures of the murine tooth.

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Embryonic Development and Differentiation Research Programme, School of Anatomical Sciences, Faculty of Health Sciences, University of the Witwatersrand, Parktown, 2193 Johannesburg, South Africa.


Epithelio-mesenchymal interactions are active during the development of the root of the tooth and are regulated by a variety of growth factors, such as fibroblast growth factors. FGF-2, 3, 4, and 8 have all been shown to play a role in the development of the crown of the tooth, but less is known about the factors that govern root formation, particularly FGF-2. The aim of this study was thus to elucidate the spatial and temporal expression of FGF-2 in the root of the developing tooth, as this growth factor is believed to be a mediator of epithelio-mesenchymal interactions. Parasagittal sections of the maxillary and mandibular arches of post-natal mice were utilized and the roots of the molar teeth were studied. Immunocytochemistry utilizing an antibody to FGF-2 was performed on sections of teeth at various stages of development. Intense immunostaining for FGF-2 was observed in differentiating odontoblasts at the apical end of the tooth and in the furcation zone of the developing root at all the stages examined. FGF-2 localization was also observed in cementoblasts on post-natal days 16, 20 and 24. The pattern of localization of FGF-2 in the developing root suggests that this growth factor may participate in the signaling network associated with root development.

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