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Distribution of extracellular matrix proteins in odontogenic tumours and developing teeth.

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Department of Oral Pathology, University of Turku, Finland.


The distribution of two cellular fibronectins (cFn), tenascin, laminin, as well as type VII collagen was studied in 14 benign odontogenic tumours of epithelial (ameloblastoma) and epithelial-ectomesenchymal (ameloblastic fibroma) origins, as well as in developing human teeth by immunocytochemical means using monoclonal antibodies (Mabs). An extradomain sequence-A-containing form of cFn (EDA-cFn) was seen in the extracellular matrix (ECM) of all tumours studied and in the mesenchyme of the developing tooth germs, indicating that cFn in these tissues are predominantly produced locally. A form of cFn containing an oncofetal domain (Onc-cFn), hitherto found only in carcinomas, was detected focally in the stroma of most ameloblastomas but was absent from ameloblastic fibromas and tooth germs. Tenascin was strongly expressed in the basement membrane (BM) zone of all odontogenic tumours and in that of the early tooth germs. Focal absence of laminin and type VII collagen from the BM of some ameloblastomas and the presence of Onc-cFn in the ECM of most ameloblastomas may correlate with their aggressive behaviour. The results also suggest that EDA-cFn and tenascin are involved in epithelial-mesenchymal interactions during tooth development and in odontogenic tumours.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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