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J Periodontal Res. 2010 Feb;45(1):52-9. doi: 10.1111/j.1600-0765.2008.01196.x. Epub 2009 Jul 8.

Immunohistochemical localization of elastin, fibrillins and microfibril-associated glycoprotein-1 in the developing periodontal ligament of the rat molar.

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Department of Ultrastructural Science, Tokyo Dental College, Chiba, Japan.



Elastic system fibers are a major component of the periodontal ligament, but little information is available about their detailed composition or the mechanism of elastogenesis in the developing periodontal ligament. The purpose of this study was to investigate immunolocalization of elastin, fibrillins and microfibril-associated glycoprotein-1 (MAGP-1) in the developing periodontal ligament of the rat molar.


Frozen sections of demineralized as well as non-demineralized periodontal ligament of Wistar rats of various ages from 19 days to 7 weeks were incubated with anti-elastin, anti-fibrillin-1 and -2 and anti-MAGP-1 antibodies followed by peroxidase-conjugated secondary antibodies. After incubation with diaminobenzidine solution, immunoreaction products were observed with a light microscope.


In the developing periodontal ligament of 19-day-old rats, fibers immunopositive to elastin were not present, but fibers positively stained for fibrillin-2 and MAGP-1 were widely distributed throughout the ligament. The latter fibers were arranged in the apico-occlusal direction along with blood vessels. In 3-week-old rats, fibers stained for elastin were observed for the first time in the apical region of the ligament. The number and distribution pattern of these elastin-positive fibers was basically the same as those in rats aged 5 and 7 weeks. In contrast, fibrillin-2- and MAGP-1-positive fibers were more extensively distributed in the ligament, and their pattern of distribution was comparable to that of reported oxytalan fibers. Fibrillin-1 was, however, not detected either in demineralized sections or in non-demineralized sections, indicating its absence in periodontal ligament.


Elastin expressed in the periodontal ligament assembled into elaunin fibers in the vicinity of blood vessels. Both fibrillin-2 and MAGP-1 are structural components not only of the elastin-associated microfibrils but also of elastin-free microfibrils, with possible roles in elastogenesis and in periodontal ligament homeostasis.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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