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Dev Biol. 1988 Oct;129(2):565-72.

Cell surface proteoglycan expression correlates with epithelial-mesenchymal interaction during tooth morphogenesis.

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Department of Pedodontics and Orthodontics, University of Helsinki, Finland.


Tooth morphogenesis and differentiation of the dental cells are guided by interactions between epithelial and mesenchymal tissues. Because the extracellular matrix is involved in these interactions, the expression of matrix receptors located at the cell surface may change during this developmental sequence. We have examined the distribution of an epithelial cell surface proteoglycan antigen, known to behave as a receptor for interstitial matrix, during tooth morphogenesis. Intense staining was seen around the cells of the embryonic oral epithelium as well as the dental epithelium at the early bud stage. With development, expression was greatly reduced in the enamel organ. Differentiation of these cells into ameloblasts was associated with the loss of expression, while the epithelial cells remaining in the stratum intermedium and stellate reticulum regained intense staining. The PG antigen was weakly expressed in the loose neural crest-derived jaw mesenchyme but it became strongly reactive in the condensed dental papilla mesenchyme when extensive morphogenetic movements took place. With development, the PG antigen disappeared from the advanced dental papilla mesenchyme but persisted in the dental sac mesenchyme, which gives rise to periodontal tissues. The PG antigen was not expressed by odontoblasts. Hence, the expression of the PG antigen changes during the epithelial-mesenchymal interactions of tooth development and is lost during terminal cell differentiation. The expression follows morphogenetic rather than histologic boundaries. The acquisition and loss of expression in epithelial and mesenchymal tissues during tooth development suggest that this proteoglycan has specific functions in the epithelial-mesenchymal interactions that guide morphogenesis.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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