Background and Objective
Dentin sialophosphoprotein (DSPP) and its cleaved products, dentin phosphoprotein (DPP) and dentin sialoprotein (DSP), play important roles in biomineralization. Recently, we observed that DSPP is highly expressed in the alveolar bone and cementum, indicating that this molecule may play an important role in the formation and maintenance of a healthy periodontium, and its deletion may cause increased susceptibility to periodontal diseases. The objective of this investigation was to study the effects of Dspp ablation on periodontal tissues by analyzing Dspp null mice.
Newborn to 6-month-old Dspp null mice were examined, and the 3-month and 6-month-old Dspp null mice were characterized in detail using X-ray radiography, histology and scanning electron microscopy (backscattered as well as resin-infiltrating). Wild-type mice of the same age groups served as the normal controls.
The Dspp null mice showed a significant loss of alveolar bone and cementum, particularly in the furcation and the interproximal regions of the molars. The alveolar bone appeared more porous while the quantity of cementum was reduced in the apical region. The canalicular systems and osteocytes in the alveolar bone were abnormal, with reduced numbers of canaliculi and an altered osteocyte morphology. The loss of alveolar bone and cementum along with the detachment of the periodontal ligaments (PDL) led to the apical migration of the epithelial attachment and the formation of periodontal pockets.
Inactivation of DSPP leads to the loss of the alveolar bone and cementum and increased susceptibility to bacterial infections in the PDL of Dspp null mice. The fact that the loss of DSPP results in periodontal diseases indicates that this molecule plays a vital role in maintaining the health of the periodontium.