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J Embryol Exp Morphol. 1985 Aug;88:265-79.

The influence of the epithelium on palate shelf reorientation.


The intrinsic forces necessary for directing the reorientation of the secondary palate appear to reside in the anterior two thirds of the palate or presumptive hard palate. The hard palate could reorient regardless of whether it was intact or separated from the posterior third or presumptive soft palate. The soft palate could only reorient if the palate shelves are left intact. These intrinsic forces, within the hard palate, may be mediated by the mesenchymal cells, their extracellular matrix, or the epithelium surrounding the shelves. This latter possibly was tested by removing the epithelium, from either the presumptive oral or nasal surface followed by measurement of reorientation in vitro. Only after removal of the oral epithelium was a significant inhibition in reorientation observed. The treatment used to remove the epithelium, EDTA and scraping, was shown to remove 41% of the oral epithelium leaving the majority of the basement membrane intact. The observed inhibition of reorientation did not appear to be a consequence of wound healing. Creation of wounds twice the area that was observed after treatment with EDTA and scraping inhibited reorientation minimally. These results suggest that the epithelium and particularly the anterior oral epithelium plays a major role in the reorientation of the murine secondary palate.

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