Int J Med Sci 2018; 15(4):291-299. doi:10.7150/ijms.22495 This issue
1. Department of Oral and Maxillofacial Surgery, Xiangya Hospital, Central South University;
2. Molecular Laboratory for Gene Therapy and Tooth Regeneration, Beijing Key Laboratory of Tooth Regeneration and Function Reconstruction, Capital Medical University School of Stomatology, Beijing, China;
3. Department of Oral Basic Science, School of Stomatology, Dalian Medical University, Dalian, China
The tooth root transmits and balances occlusal forces through the periodontium to the alveolar bone. The periodontium, including the gingiva, the periodontal ligament, the cementum and the partial alveolar bone, derives from the dental follicle (DF), except for the gingiva. In the early developmental stages, the DF surrounds the tooth germ as a sphere and functions to promote tooth eruption. However, the morphological dynamics and factors regulating the differentiation of the DF during root elongation remain largely unknown. Miniature pigs are regarded as a useful experimental animal for modeling in craniofacial research because they are similar to humans with respect to dentition and mandible anatomy. In the present study, we used the third deciduous incisor of miniature pig as the model to investigate the factors influencing DF differentiation during root development. We found that the DF was shaped like a crescent and was located between the root apical and the alveolar bone. The expression levels of WNT5a, β-Catenin, and COL-I gradually increased from the center of the DF (beneath the apical foramen) to the lateral coronal corner, where the DF differentiates into the periodontium. To determine the potential regulatory role of the apical papilla on DF cell differentiation, we co-cultured dental follicle stem cells (DFSCs) with stem cells of the apical papilla (SCAPs). The osteogenesis and fibrogenesis abilities of DFSCs were inhibited when being co-cultured with SCAPs, suggesting that the fate of the DF can be regulated by signals from the apical papilla. The apical papilla may sustain the undifferentiated status of DFSCs before root development finishes. These data yield insight into the interaction between the root apex and surrounding DF tissues in root and periodontium development and shed light on the future study of root regeneration in large mammals.
Keywords: tooth root, root apex, dental sac, regeneration, mammals, Sus scrofa