We examined the ability of a novel liposome, surface modified by 3-methyl-glutarylated hyperbranched poly(glycidol) (MGlu-HPG), to enhance antigen-specific immunity in vitro and in vivo and to function as a vaccine carrier. Murine bone marrow-derived dendritic cells took up ovalbumin (OVA) encapsulated in MGlu-HPG-modified liposomes more effectively than free OVA or OVA encapsulated in unmodified liposomes. Immunization of mice with OVA-containing MGlu-HPG-modified liposomes induced antigen-specific splenocyte proliferation and production of gamma interferon (IFN-γ) more strongly than did immunization with free OVA or OVA encapsulated in unmodified liposomes. The immune responses induced by OVA encapsulated in MGlu-HPG-modified liposomes were significantly suppressed by addition of anti-major histocompatibility complex (MHC) class I and class II monoclonal antibodies, indicating the involvement of antigen presentation via MHC class I and II. Furthermore, delayed-type hypersensitivity responses and OVA-specific antibodies were induced more effectively in mice immunized with OVA encapsulated by MGlu-HPG-modified liposomes than with unencapsulated OVA or OVA encapsulated in unmodified liposomes. These results suggested that MGlu-HPG-modified liposomes effectively induced both cell-mediated and humoral immune responses. Collectively, this study is the first to demonstrate the induction of both cell-mediated and humoral immune responses in vivo by MGlu-HPG-modified liposomes.
Molecular evolution studies suggest that amelogenins (AMEL), the principal components of the mammalian enamel matrix, emerged considerably later than ameloblastin (AMBN), and enamelin. Here we have created a transgenic mouse model to ask the question how a conceivable basal enamel lacking AMEL and enriched in the more basal AMBN might compare to recent mouse enamel. To address this question we have overexpressed AMBN using a K14 promoter and removed AMEL from the genetic background by crossbreeding with AMEL−/− mice. Enamel coverings of AMEL−/− mice and of the squamate Iguana iguana were used for comparison. Scanning electron microscopic analysis documented that AMBN TG × amel−/− mouse molars were covered by a 5μm thin “enameloid” layer resembling the thin enamel of the Iguana squamate. Transmission electron microscopy revealed that the enamel of developing AMBN TG × amel−/−mouse molars contained approximately 70nm short and randomly oriented crystals, while WT controls, AMBN overexpressors, and AMEL−/− mice all featured elongated and parallel oriented crystals measuring between 300nm and 600nm in average length. Together, these studies illustrate that AMBN promotes the growth of a crystalline enamel layer with short and randomly oriented crystals, but lacks the ability to facilitate the formation of long and parallel oriented apatite crystals.
enamel; amelogenin; ameloblastin; evolution; apatite
Polyethylene glycol (PEG) was genetically incorporated into a polypeptide. Stop-anticodon-containing tRNAs were acylated with PEG-containing amino acids and were then translated into polypeptides corresponding to DNA sequences containing the stop codons. The molecular weights of the PEG used were 170, 500, 700, 1000, and 2000 Da, and the translation was confirmed by mass spectrometry. The PEG incorporation ratio decreased as the molecular weight of PEG increased, and PEG with a molecular weight of 1000 Da was only slightly incorporated. Although improvement is required to increase the efficiency of the process, this study demonstrates the possibility of genetic PEGylation.
Recombinant human gelatins with defined molecular weights were modified with cholesterol to make them amphiphilic in nature. We investigated the feasibility of these modified human gelatins acting as a carrier of antigenic proteins for inducing cellular immunity. The aim of this study was to synthesize novel and effective compounds for vaccine delivery in vivo.
Two types of cholesterol-modified gelatin micelles, anionic cholesterol-modified gelatin (aCMG) and cationic-cholesterol modified gelatin (cCMG), were synthesized using different cholesterol derivatives such as the cholesterol-isocyanate (Ch-I) for aCMG and amino-modified cholesterol for cCMG. One was anionic and the other cationic, and therefore they differed in terms of their zeta potential. The aCMG and cCMG were characterized for their size, zeta potential, and in their ability to form micelles. Cytotoxicity was also evaluated. The modified human gelatins were then investigated as a carrier of antigenic proteins for inducing cellular immunity both in vitro in DC 2.4 cells, a murine dendritic cell line, as well as in vivo. The mechanism of entry of the polymeric micelles into the cells was also evaluated.
It was found that only cCMG successfully complexed with the model antigenic protein, fluorescein-isothiocyanate ovalbumin (OVA) and efficiently delivered and processed proteins in DC 2.4 cells. It was hypothesized that cCMG enter the cells predominantly by a caveolae-mediated pathway that required tyrosine kinase receptors on the cell surface. Animal testing using mice showed that the cationic cholesterol-modified gelatin complexed with OVA produced significantly high antibody titers against OVA: 2580-fold higher than in mice immunized with free OVA.
Conclusively, cCMG has shown to be very effective in stimulating an immune response due to its high efficiency, stability, and negligible cytotoxicity.
recombinant human gelatin; cholesterol; micelle; protein delivery; caveolae pathway; receptor-mediated endocytosis
The regeneration of lost periodontal ligament (PDL) and alveolar bone is the purpose of periodontal tissue engineering. The goal of the present study was to assess the suitability of 3 odontogenic progenitor populations from dental pulp, PDL, and dental follicle for periodontal regeneration when exposed to natural and synthetic apatite surface topographies. We demonstrated that PDL progenitors featured higher levels of periostin and scleraxis expression, increased adipogenic and osteogenic differentiation potential, and pronounced elongated cell shapes on barren root chips when compared with dental pulp and dental follicle cells. When evaluating the effect of surface characteristics on PDL progenitors, natural root surfaces resulted in elongated PDL cell shapes, whereas PDL progenitors on synthetic apatite surfaces were rounded or polygonal. In addition, surface coatings affected PDL progenitor gene expression profiles: collagen I coatings enhanced alkaline phosphatase and osteocalcin expression levels and laminin-1 coatings increased epidermal growth factor (EGF), nestin, cadherin 1, and keratin 8 expression. PDL progenitors seeded on natural tooth root surfaces in organ culture formed new periodontal fibers after 3 weeks of culture. Finally, replantation of PDL progenitor-seeded tooth roots into rat alveolar bone sockets resulted in the complete formation of a new PDL and stable reattachment of teeth over a 6-month period. Together, these findings indicate that periodontal progenitor cell type as well as mineral surface topography and molecular environment play crucial roles in the regeneration of true periodontal anchorage.
Chemically fixed mouse embryonic fibroblasts (MEFs), instead of live feeder cells, were applied to the maintenance of mouse induced pluripotent stem (miPS) cells. Formaldehyde and glutaraldehyde were used for chemical fixation. The chemically fixed MEF feeders maintained the pluripotency of miPS cells, as well as their undifferentiated state. Furthermore, the chemically fixed MEF feeders were reused several times without affecting their functions. These results indicate that chemical fixation can be applied to modify biological feeders chemically, without losing their original functions. Chemically fixed MEF feeders will be applicable to other stem cell cultures as a reusable extracellular matrix candidate that can be preserved on a long-term basis.
The maintenance and differentiation of embryonic stem cells (ES cells) depends on the regulation of gene expression through the coordinated binding of transcription factors to regulatory promoter elements. One of the genes involved in embryonic development is the chromatin factor CP27. Previously, we have shown that NF-Y interacted with the CP27 proximal promoter CCAAT-box. Here we report that CP27 gene expression in mouse ES cells is controlled by CCAAT and E-box cis-acting regulatory elements and their corresponding transcription factors NF-Y and USF1. Specifically, USF1 interacts with the E-box of the CP27 proximal promoter and NF-Y interacts with the CCAAT box. NF-Y and USF1 also interacted with each other and activated the CP27 promoter in a synergistic fashion. Together, these studies demonstrate that gene expression of the chromatin factor CP27 is regulated through the interaction of the transcription factors NF-Y and USF1 with the CP27 proximal promoter.
Promoter; ES cell; NF-Y; USF1; CP27
Dimension and structure of extracellular matrix surfaces have powerful influences on cell shape, adhesion, and gene expression. Here we show that natural tooth root topographies induce integrin-mediated extracellular matrix signaling cascades in tandem with cell elongation and polarization to generate physiological periodontium-like tissues. In this study we replanted surface topography instructed periodontal progenitors into rat alveolar bone sockets for 8 and 16 weeks, resulting in complete reattachment of tooth roots to the surrounding alveolar bone with a periodontal fiber apparatus closely matching physiological controls along the entire root surface. Displacement studies and biochemical analyses confirmed that progenitor-based engineered periodontal tissues were similar to control teeth and uniquely derived from preimplantation green fluorescent protein (GFP)-labeled progenitors. Together, these studies illustrate the capacity of natural extracellular surface topographies to instruct progenitor cell populations to fully regenerate complex cellular and structural morphologies of tissues once lost to disease. We suggest that our strategy could be used for the replantation of teeth lost due to trauma or as a novel approach for tooth replacement using tooth-shaped replicas.
Odorant-binding proteins (OBPs) are extracellular proteins found in insect chemosensilla, where they participate in the sensing of odors, tastes, and pheromones. Although a large number of OBP genes have been identified in insect genomes, their molecular functions and biological roles have been clarified in limited cases. Two OBP genes, Obp57d and Obp57e, were involved in the evolution of host-plant preference in Drosophila sechellia. Comparative analyses of the Obp57d/e genomic sequences from 27 closely related species suggested that the two genes arose by tandem gene duplication and functionally diverged from each other. In this study, the functional evolution of Obp57d and Obp57e was examined by in vitro binding assays using recombinant proteins synthesized in a bacterial system. Compared to the ancestral Dpse\OBP57de, Dmel\OBP57d was more specialized to tridecanoic acid while Dmel\OBP57e was generalized regarding their binding affinity, suggesting that the two OBP genes underwent subfunctionalization and neofunctionalization. A behavioral analysis using knockout flies supported that the biological role is different between OBP57d and OBP57e in vivo. Site-directed mutagenesis of the evolutionarily conserved amino acids revealed that these residues play an important role in protein folding. These findings provide a clue to understanding how the repertoire of OBP genes is maintained in a genome under natural selection.
Intermediate progenitor populations play a crucial role in the regional specification and differentiation of the cranial neural crest. On the basis of global gene expression profiles, gene cohort expression levels, and epigenetic modifications, we have defined key factors involved in the differentiation of dental follicle (DF) intermediate progenitors into periodontal lineages, including alveolar bone (AB) osteoblasts, cementoblasts, and periodontal ligament (PDL) cells. When comparing differentially expressed genes, PDL cells most closely resembled DF progenitors, followed by AB osteoblasts and cementoblasts as the most distant population. According to gene ontology analyses, extracellular matrix-adhesion proteins were substantially increased in PDL cells, osteogenesis factors were elevated in AB osteoblasts, and gene expression levels were lower in cementoblasts, especially in the cytokine group. Unique signature proteins included interleukin 6, paired-like homeodomain transcription factor 2, thrombospondin 2, and glial cell line-derived neurotrophic factor for DF progenitors; asporin and prostaglandin-H2 D-isomerase for AB osteoblasts; and keratin 18, Netrin 4, Jagged 1, and Dickkopf1 for cementoblasts, as verified by western blot analysis. Secreted frizzled-related protein 1 was preferentially expressed in PDL cells, whereas matrix Gla-protein, bone sialoprotein, and insulin-like growth factor binding protein 5 were higher in AB osteoblasts than in cementoblasts. On an epigenetic level, DF progenitors featured high levels of the euchromatin marker H3K4me3, whereas PDL cells, AB osteoblasts, and cementoblasts contained high levels of the transcriptional repressor H3K9me3. Together, our data indicate that in addition to changes in signature gene expression, unique shifts in gene cohort expression levels, epigenetic modifications, and changes in cell morphology contribute to the individuation of tissue populations from a common neural-crest-derived ancestor.
Growth factors play important roles in tissue regeneration. However, because of their instability and diffusible nature, improvements in their performance would be desirable for therapeutic applications. Conferring binding affinities would be one way to improve their applicability. Here we review techniques for conjugating growth factors to polypeptides with particular affinities. Conjugation has been designed at the level of gene fusion and of polypeptide ligation. We summarize and discuss the designs and applications of binding growth factors prepared by such conjugation approaches.
growth factor; immobilization; protein engineering; tissue engineering; collagen; peptide ligation
Unloading of teeth results in extensive alveolar bone remodeling, causing teeth to move in both vertical (“super-eruption”) and horizontal direction (“drift”). In order to decipher the molecular mechanisms of unloading-induced bone remodeling during tooth movement, we focused on the role of osteopontin (OPN) in the un-opposed molar model, comparing wild-type (WT) and OPN-null mice. Our data indicated that OPN was not required for the continuous eruption of un-opposed teeth while OPN was necessary for the drift of teeth. OPN expression and osteoclast counts were greatly increased on alveolar bone surfaces facing the direction of the drift in WT mice, while osteoclast counts were diminished in OPN−/− mice. RANKL expression in the distal periodontal ligament of WT molars increased significantly by day 6 following unloading, while overall levels of RANKL expression were decreased in both WT and OPN-null mice. In vitro treatment of MC3T3 cells, WT BMCs and OPN−/− BMCs with recombinant OPN resulted in significantly increased RANKL expression in all three cell types. The PI3K and MEK/ERK pathway inhibitors Ly294002 and U0126 reduced RANKL expression levels in vitro. Treatment of BMCs and MC3T3 with OPN also resulted in increased ERK phosphorylation and reduced OPG levels. Together, our studies suggest that increased OPN expression during unloading-induced drifting of teeth enhances localized RANKL expression and osteoclast activity on drift-direction alveolar bone surfaces via extracellular matrix signaling pathways.
Osteopontin; RANKL; PI3K; ERK; Bone remodeling; Mechanical Stress
The cp27 gene is a highly conserved and unique gene with important roles related to craniofacial organogenesis. The present study is a first analysis of the CP27 promoter and its regulation. Here, we have cloned the promoter of the mouse cp27 gene, examined its transcriptional activity, and identified transcription factor binding sites in the proximal promoter region. Two major transcription start sites were mapped adjacent to exon 1. Promoter function analysis of the 5′ flanking region by progressive 5′ deletion mutations localized transcription repression elements between −1993 bp to −969 bp and several positive elements between −968 bp and the preferred transcription start site. EMSA and functional studies indicated two function-cooperative CCAAT boxes and identified the NF-Y transcription factor as the CCAAT activator controlling transactivation of the CP27 promoter. In addition, this study demonstrated that for its effective binding and function, NF-Y required not only the minimal DNA segment length identified by deletion studies, but also a defined nucleotide sequence in the distal 3′ flanking region of the CP27 proximal promoter CCAAT box. These results provide a basis for our understanding of the specific regulation of the cp27 gene in the NF-Y-mediated gene transcription network.
CP27; promoter structure; CCAAT boxes; NF-Y
The periodontal ligament (PDL) is a specialized connective tissue that connects the surface of the tooth root with the bony tooth socket. The healthy PDL harbors stem cell niches and extracellular matrix (ECM) microenvironments that facilitate periodontal regeneration. During periodontal disease, the PDL is often compromised or destroyed, reducing the life-span of the tooth. In order to explore new approaches toward the regeneration of diseased periodontal tissues, we have tested the effect of periodontal ECM signals, fibroblast growth factor 2 (FGF2), connective tissue growth factor (CTGF), and the cell adhesion peptide Arg-Gly- Asp (RGD) on the differentiation of two types of periodontal progenitor cells, PDL progenitor cells (PDLPs) and dental follicle progenitor cells (DFCs). Our studies documented that CTGF and FGF2 significantly enhanced the expression of collagens I & III, biglycan and periostin in tissue engineered regenerates after 4 weeks compared to untreated controls. Specifically, CTGF promoted mature PDL-like tissue regeneration as demonstrated by dense periostin localization in collagen fiber bundles. CTGF and FGF2 displayed synergistic effects on collagen III and biglycan gene expression, while effects on mineralization were antagonistic to each other: CTGF promoted while FGF2 inhibited mineralization in PDL cell cultures. Incorporation of RGD peptides in hydrogel matrices significantly enhanced attachment, spreading, survival and mineralization of the encapsulated DFCs, suggesting that RGD additives might promote the use of hydrogels for periodontal mineralized tissue engineering. Together, our studies have documented the effect of three key components of the periodontal ECM on the differentiation of periodontal progenitor populations.
growth factors; extracellular matrix; periodontal regeneration; progenitor cells
During the recent decade, the periodontal attachment apparatus has turned into one of the premier areas of the body for the development of novel tissue engineering strategies. In the present review we are using a developmental biology approach to characterize current concepts in periodontal regeneration and to discuss strategies for future applications in periodontal therapies. In order to decipher the developmental make-up of the periodontal region, we have followed the path of the migratory neural crest as it gives rise to periodontal progenitor tissues, which in turn are subjected to the influence of diverse craniofacial extracellular matrices and peptide growth factors. Based on this developmental perspective, we have conducted a systematic analysis of the factors, progenitor cells, and matrices used in current periodontal tissue engineering approaches. We propose that the developmental history of a tissue is a highly instructive design template for the discovery of novel bioengineering tools and approaches.
Vertebrate teeth are attached to jaws by a variety of mechanisms, including acrodont, pleurodont, and thecodont modes of attachment. Recent studies have suggested that various modes of attachment exist within each sub-category. Especially squamates feature a broad diversity of modes of attachment. Here we have investigated tooth attachment tissues in the late cretaceous mosasaur Clidastes and compared mosasaur tooth attachment with modes of attachment found in other extant reptiles. Using histologic analysis of ultrathin ground sections, four distinct mineralized tissues that anchor mosasaur teeth to the jaw were identified: (i) an acellular cementum layer at the interface between root and cellular cementum, (ii) a massive cone consisting of trabecular cellular cementum, (iii) the mineralized periodontal ligament containing mineralized Sharpey’s fibers, and (iv) the interdental ridges connecting adjacent teeth. The complex, multilayered attachment apparatus in mosasaurs was compared with attachment tissues in extant reptiles, including Iguana and Caiman. Based on our comparative analysis we postulate the presence of a quadruple-layer tissue architecture underlying reptilian tooth attachment, comprised of acellular cementum, cellular cementum, mineralized periodontal ligament, and interdental ridge (alveolar bone). We propose that the mineralization status of the periodontal ligament is a dynamic feature in vertebrate evolution subject to functional adaptation.
Amelogenins are the major proteins involved in tooth enamel formation. In the present study we have cloned and sequenced four novel amelogenins from three amphibian species in order to analyze similarities and differences between mammalian and non-mammalian amelogenins. The newly sequenced amphibian amelogenin sequences were from a Red-eyed tree frog (Litoria chloris) and a Mexican axolotl (Ambystoma mexicanum). We identified two amelogenin isoforms in the Eastern Red-backed Salamander (Plethodon cinereus). Sequence comparisons confirmed that non-mammalian amelogenins are overall shorter than their mammalian counterparts, contain less proline and less glutamine, and feature shorter polyproline tripeptide repeat stretches than mammalian amelogenins. We propose that unique sequence parameters of mammalian amelogenins might be a pre-requisite for complex mammalian enamel prism architecture.
How does proline-repeat motif length in the proteins of teeth and bones relate to the evolution of vertebrates? Counterintuitively, longer repeat stretches are associated with smaller aggregated subunits within a supramolecular matrix, resulting in enhanced crystal length in mammalian versus amphibian tooth enamel.
Vertebrate body designs rely on hydroxyapatite as the principal mineral component of relatively light-weight, articulated endoskeletons and sophisticated tooth-bearing jaws, facilitating rapid movement and efficient predation. Biological mineralization and skeletal growth are frequently accomplished through proteins containing polyproline repeat elements. Through their well-defined yet mobile and flexible structure polyproline-rich proteins control mineral shape and contribute many other biological functions including Alzheimer's amyloid aggregation and prolamine plant storage. In the present study we have hypothesized that polyproline repeat proteins exert their control over biological events such as mineral growth, plaque aggregation, or viscous adhesion by altering the length of their central repeat domain, resulting in dramatic changes in supramolecular assembly dimensions. In order to test our hypothesis, we have used the vertebrate mineralization protein amelogenin as an exemplar and determined the biological effect of the four-fold increased polyproline tandem repeat length in the amphibian/mammalian transition. To study the effect of polyproline repeat length on matrix assembly, protein structure, and apatite crystal growth, we have measured supramolecular assembly dimensions in various vertebrates using atomic force microscopy, tested the effect of protein assemblies on crystal growth by electron microscopy, generated a transgenic mouse model to examine the effect of an abbreviated polyproline sequence on crystal growth, and determined the structure of polyproline repeat elements using 3D NMR. Our study shows that an increase in PXX/PXQ tandem repeat motif length results (i) in a compaction of protein matrix subunit dimensions, (ii) reduced conformational variability, (iii) an increase in polyproline II helices, and (iv) promotion of apatite crystal length. Together, these findings establish a direct relationship between polyproline tandem repeat fragment assemblies and the evolution and the design of vertebrate mineralized tissue microstructures. Our findings reveal that in the greater context of chordate evolution, the biological control of apatite growth by polyproline-based matrix assemblies provides a molecular basis for the evolution of the vertebrate body plan.
The microstructure of vertebrate bones and teeth is controlled by polyproline-rich protein matrices (such as amelogenin) that serve as a scaffold to control the assembly of biological apatites. In tooth enamel, amphibians have large amelogenin subunits and thin enamel while mammals have smaller amelogenin subunits in tandem with elongated crystals and complex prismatic organization. Using specific peptides and frog amelogenin overexpressed in mice, we confirmed the effect of the length of the elongated polyproline repeat on reduced matrix subunit dimensions and enhanced apatite crystal length. Three-dimensional structures solved by NMR (nuclear magnetic resonance) and surface modeling algorithms indicate that elongated polyproline repeat stretches in amelogenins affect the dimensions of the supramolecular matrix through an increase in polyproline II helices, resulting in a compaction of supramolecular subunit dimensions. We propose that the availability of readily shaped apatites and innovative mechanisms based on amelogenin-repeat motifsthat compartmentalize and shape biological minerals was essential for the rise of early vertebrates, enabling the manufacture of strong teeth and backbones that might have given vertebrates a decisive survival advantage in the competition for food and in the sophistication of locomotion.
A multivalent ligand of thrombopoietin (TPO) was prepared by immobilization of mimetic peptides on gold particles. An effective peptide ligand containing cysteine was designed to enhance the growth of TPO-sensitive cells. The peptide was then immobilized on gold particles by self assembly. The multivalent ligand enhanced the growth of TPO-dependent cells and its activity was more than that of the monovalent ligand.
Thrombopoietin; Multivalency; Gold particle; Bioconjugate; Cell proliferation
We sought to promote myocardial repair using urinary bladder matrix (UBM) incorporated with a fusion protein which combined hepatocyte growth factor (HGF) and fibronectin collagen-binding-domain (CBD) in a porcine model. CBD acted as an intermediary to promote HGF binding and enhance HGF stability within UBM.
UBM incorporated with CBD-HGF was implanted into the porcine right ventricular wall (F-group) to repair a surgically created defect. Untreated UBM patches (U-group) and Dacron patches (D-group) served as controls (N=5/group). Electromechanical mapping was performed at 60-days after surgery. Linear local shortening (LLS) was used to assess regional contractility, and electrical activity was recorded.
The LLS was significantly improved in the F group compared with controls (F:0.51 ± 1.57%*, U:− 1.06 ± 1.84%, D: −2.72 ± 2.59%; *p<0.05), while they were inferior to the normal myocardium(13.7 ± 4.3%)*. Mean electrical activity was 1.49±0.82mV in the F group, which was statistically greater than control groups (U:0.93 ± 0.71mV; D:0.30 ± 0.22mV)* and less than the normal myocardium (8.24±2.49mV)*. Histological examination showed predominant α-smooth muscle actin positive cells with the F group showing the thickest layer and the D group the thinnest layer, with an endocardial endothelial monolayer. Scattered isolated islands of α-actinin positive cells were observed only in the F group, but not in the controls, suggesting the presence of cardiomyocytes.
The CBD-HGF-UBM patch demonstrated increased contractility and electrical activity compared to UBM alone or Dacron, and facilitated a homogeneous repopulation of host cells. UBM incorporated with CBD-HGF may contribute to constructive myocardial remodeling.
As a developmental precursor for diverse periodontal tissues the dental follicle harbors great promise for periodontal tissue regeneration. However, development of optimal therapy awaits the answer to a key question that impinges on many issues in development; do adult progenitor tissues form a homogeneous cell population that differentiates into target tissues when they arrive at the site, or they contain heterogeneous cell populations that are committed to specific fates? In order to address the homogeneity/heterogeneity question we analyzed differentiation pathways and markers in several cloned dental follicle cell lines. Our studies revealed that each of our cloned dental follicle lines featured remarkably unique characteristics indicative of a separate and distinct lineage. One line, DF1 was high in proliferative activity while it did not display any mineralization behavior, suggesting that it might be related to a periodontal ligament-type lineage. DF2 was similar to DF1 but featured remarkably high alkaline phosphatase activity indicative of a highly undifferentiated state. DF3 matched the mineralization characteristics of a same stage alveolar bone line AB1 in terms of gene expression and von Kossa staining indicating that DF3 might be of cementoblastic or alveolar bone osteoblastic lineage. In order to verify the multilineage potential of the dental follicle for purposes of tissue engineering, a series of differentiation induction experiments was conducted. For identification purposes, characteristics of these heterogeneous follicular progenitor cells were compared with follicle components in tissue sections of the postnatal developing periodontium. The presence of heterogeneous cell populations in the dental follicle mirrors individual developmental pathways in the formation of the dental integument. The profound cellular heterogeneity of the dental follicle as an adult progenitor for tissue regeneration also suggests that heterogeneous cellular constituents might play as much of a role in tissue regeneration as the inducible characteristics of individual lineages might do.
Periodontal regeneration and tissue engineering has re-awakened interest in the role of Hertwig’s Epithelial Root Sheath (HERS), an epithelial tissue layer first discovered in amphibians more than a century ago. Using developmental, evolutionary, and cell biological approaches we have therefore performed a careful analysis of the role of HERS in root formation and compared our data with clinical findings. Our developmental studies revealed HERS as a transient structure assembled in the early period of root formation and elongation and subsequently fenestrated and reduced to epithelial rests of Malassez (ERM). Our comparative evolutionary studies indicated that HERS fenestration was closely associated with the presence of a periodontal ligament and a gomphosis-type attachment apparatus in crocodilians and mammals. Based on these studies, we are proposing that HERS plays an important role in the regulation and maintenance of periodontal ligament space and function. Additional support for this hypothesis was rendered by our meta-analysis of recent clinical reports related to HERS function.
Periodontium; Development; Cementum; Apoptosis; Darwinian Medicine
Smad4 is a central intracellular effector of TGF-β signaling. Smad-independent TGF-β pathways, such as those mediated by p38 MAPK, have been identified in cell culture systems, but their in vivo functional mechanisms remain unclear. In this study, we investigated the role of TGF-β signaling in tooth and palate development and noted that conditional inactivation of Smad4 in oral epithelium results in much milder phenotypes than those seen with the corresponding receptor mutants, Bmpr1a and Tgfbr2, respectively. Perturbed p38 function in these tissues likewise has no effect by itself, but that when both Smad4 and p38 functions are compromised, dramatic recapitulation of the receptor mutant phenotypes results. Thus, our study demonstrates that p38 and Smad4 are functionally redundant in mediating TGF-β signaling in diverse contexts during embryonic organogenesis. The ability of epithelium to utilize both pathways illustrates the complicated nature of TGF-β signaling mechanisms in development and disease.
TGF-β; p38 MAPK; Smad4; Smad-independent pathway; tooth; palate
The biological mechanisms that maintain the position of teeth in their sockets establish a dynamic equilibrium between bone resorption and apposition. In order to reveal some of the dynamics involved in the tissue responses toward occlusal forces on periodontal ligament and alveolar bone homeostasis, we have developed the first mouse model of hyper-occlusion. Swiss Webster mice were kept in hyper-occlusion for 0, 3, 6, and 9 d. Morphological and histological changes in the periodontium were assessed using micro CT and ground sections with fluorescent detection of vital dye labels. Sections were stained for tartrate-resistant acid phosphatase (TRAP), and expression of RANKL and OPN was analyzed by immunohistochemistry and real-time PCR. Traumatic occlusion resulted in enamel surface abrasion, inhibition of alveolar bone apposition, significant formation of osteoclasts at 3 d, 6 d, and 9 d, and upregulation of OPN and RANKL. Data from this study suggest that both OPN and RANKL contribute to the stimulation of bone resorption in the hyperocclusive state. In addition, we propose that the inhibition of alveolar bone apposition by occlusal forces is an important mechanism for the control of occlusal height that might work in synergy with RANKL induced bone resorption to maintain normal occlusion.
Occlusal Trauma; RANKL; Osteopontin; Tooth Movement; Osteoclast
During craniofacial development, Meckel’s cartilage and the mandible bone derive from the first branchial arch, and their development depends upon the contribution of cranial neural crest (CNC) cells. We previously demonstrated that conditional inactivation of Tgfbr2 in the neural crest of mice (Tgfbr2fl/fl;Wnt1-Cre) results in severe defects in mandibular development, although the specific cellular and molecular mechanisms by which TGF-β signaling regulates the fate of CNC cells during mandibular development remain unknown. We show here that loss of Tgfbr2 does not affect the migration of CNC cells during mandibular development. TGF-β signaling is specifically required for cell proliferation in Meckel’s cartilage and the mandibular anlagen and for the formation of the coronoid, condyle and angular processes. TGF-β-mediated connective tissue growth factor (CTGF) signaling is critical for CNC cell proliferation. Exogenous CTGF rescues the cell proliferation defect in Meckel’s cartilage of Tgfbr2fl/fl;Wnt1-Cre mutants, demonstrating the biological significance of this signaling cascade in chondrogenesis during mandibular development. Furthermore, TGF-β signaling controls Msx1 expression to regulate mandibular osteogenesis as Msx1 expression is significantly reduced in Tgfbr2fl/fl;Wnt1-Cre mutants. Collectively, our data suggest that there are differential signal cascades in response to TGF–β to control chondrogenesis and osteogenesis during mandibular development.
cranial neural crest (CNC); cell proliferation; differentiation; mandible and Meckel’s cartilage development; CTGF; Msx1; TGF-β