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Arch Oral Biol. 1994 May;39(5):401-7.

Changes in the composition of glycosaminoglycans during normal palatogenesis in the rat.

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Department of Anatomy, School of Medical Sciences, University Walk, Bristol, U.K.


The synthesis and hydration of glycosaminoglycans (GAG) has been implicated in the generation of a palatal shelf-elevating force in mammals. This study quantifies the GAG composition in the palatal shelves of Wistar rat fetuses at various stages of palatogenesis. Hyaluronan, heparin sulphate and chondroitin-4-sulphate were detected but not dermatan sulphate or chondroitin-6-sulphate. The distribution of the GAG differed in the anterior and posterior regions (i.e. the presumptive hard and soft palates) and with the stage of development. At the time of palatal-shelf reorientation, there were no significant differences for either the total amount of GAG or for the percentages of specific GAG types between anterior and posterior regions. Indeed, the most marked differences were detected at the stages of histogenesis after shelf elevation. Nevertheless, the results support the view that hyaluronan is involved in palatal-shelf reorientation, its percentage being initially high and decreasing after shelf elevation. No changes were detected for the other (sulphated) GAG during the time of elevation. The findings point to the need to correlate the events during histogenesis with changes in the ground substance of palatal-shelf mesenchyme and indicate that there are different developmental mechanisms within the presumptive hard and soft palates.

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