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J Histochem Cytochem. 2009 Jan;57(1):69-78. doi: 10.1369/jhc.2008.951707. Epub 2008 Oct 14.

Msx and dlx homeogene expression in epithelial odontogenic tumors.

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Laboratory of Orofacial Biology and Pathology-Centre de Recherche des Cordeliers, INSERM, UMR S 872, Team 5, Pierre and Marie Curie University, Paris, France.


Epithelial odontogenic tumors are rare jaw pathologies that raise clinical diagnosis and prognosis dilemmas notably between ameloblastomas and clear cell odontogenic carcinomas (CCOCs). In line with previous studies, the molecular determinants of tooth development-amelogenin, Msx1, Msx2, Dlx2, Dlx3, Bmp2, and Bmp4-were analyzed by RT-PCR, ISH, and immunolabeling in 12 recurrent ameloblastomas and in one case of CCOC. Although Msx1 expression imitates normal cell differentiation in these tumors, other genes showed a distinct pattern depending on the type of tumor and the tissue involved. In benign ameloblastomas, ISH localized Dlx3 transcripts and inconstantly detected Msx2 transcripts in epithelial cells. In the CCOC, ISH established a lack of both Dlx3 and Msx2 transcripts but allowed identification of the antisense transcript of Msx1, which imitates the same scheme of distribution between mesenchyme and epithelium as in the cup stage of tooth development. Furthermore, while exploring the expression pattern of signal molecules by RT-PCR, Bmp2 was shown to be completely inactivated in the CCOC and irregularly noticeable in ameloblastomas. Bmp4 was always expressed in all the tumors. Based on the established roles of Msx and Dlx transcription factors in dental cell fates, these data suggest that their altered expression is a proposed trail to explain the genesis and/or the progression of odontogenic tumors.

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