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J Histochem Cytochem. 2008 Dec;56(12):1075-86. doi: 10.1369/jhc.2008.951558. Epub 2008 Sep 2.

Capacity of dental pulp differentiation in mouse molars as demonstrated by allogenic tooth transplantation.

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DDS, Division of Anatomy and Cell Biology of the Hard Tissue, Department of Tissue Regeneration and Reconstruction, Niigata University Graduate School of Medical and Dental Sciences, 2-5274 Gakkocho-dori, Niigata 951-8514, Japan.


Dental pulp elaborates both bone and dentin under pathological conditions such as tooth replantation/transplantation. This study aims to clarify the capability of dental pulp to elaborate bone tissue in addition to dentin by allogenic tooth transplantation using immunohistochemistry and histochemistry. After extraction of the molars of 3-week-old mice, the roots and pulp floor were resected and immediately allografted into the sublingual region in a littermate. In addition, we studied the contribution of donor and host cells to the regenerated pulp tissue using a combination of allogenic tooth transplantation and lacZ transgenic ROSA26 mice. On Days 5-7, tubular dentin formation started next to the preexisting dentin at the pulp horn where nestin-positive odontoblast-like cells were arranged. Until Day 14, bone-like tissue formation occurred in the pulp chamber, where intense tartrate-resistant acid phosphatase-positive cells appeared. Furthermore, allogenic transplantation using ROSA26 mice clearly showed that both donor and host cells differentiated into osteoblast-like cells with the assistance of osteoclast-lineage cells, whereas newly differentiated odontoblasts were exclusively derived from donor cells. These results suggest that the odontoblast and osteoblast lineage cells reside in the dental pulp and that both donor and host cells contribute to bone-like tissue formation in the regenerated pulp tissue.

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