REVIEW ARTICLE

Odontology

, Volume 90, Issue 1, pp 0001-0006

First online:

Epithelial stem cells in teeth

  • H. HaradaAffiliated withSecond Department of Oral Anatomy and Cell Biology, Kyushu Dental College, 2-6-1 Manazuru, Kokurakita-ku, Kitakyushu 803-8580, Japan Tel. +81-93-582-1131; Fax +81-93-582-6089 e-mail: hide-h@mail.kyu-dent.ac.jp
  • , T. MitsuyasuAffiliated withSection of Oral and Maxillofacial Oncology, Division of Maxillofacial Diagnostic and Surgical Sciences, Faculty of Dental Science, Kyushu University, Fukuoka, Japan
  • , T. ToyonoAffiliated withSecond Department of Oral Anatomy and Cell Biology, Kyushu Dental College, 2-6-1 Manazuru, Kokurakita-ku, Kitakyushu 803-8580, Japan Tel. +81-93-582-1131; Fax +81-93-582-6089 e-mail: hide-h@mail.kyu-dent.ac.jp
  • , K. ToyoshimaAffiliated withSecond Department of Oral Anatomy and Cell Biology, Kyushu Dental College, 2-6-1 Manazuru, Kokurakita-ku, Kitakyushu 803-8580, Japan Tel. +81-93-582-1131; Fax +81-93-582-6089 e-mail: hide-h@mail.kyu-dent.ac.jp

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Abstract

 Many tissues and organs maintain a process known as homeostasis, in which cells are replenished as they die as a result of apoptosis or injury. The continuously growing mouse incisors are an excellent model for studying the molecular mechanisms of cell homeostasis, renewal, and repair. We elucidated these mechanisms in mouse incisors by detecting adult stem cells and analyzing the stem cell lineage by bromodeoxyuridine (BrdU) labeling analysis. The stem cells divide slowly, giving rise to a daughter cell that remains in the cervical loop and a second daughter cell that enters the zone of rapidly dividing inner enamel epithelial cells (transit-amplifying cell population). During subsequent rounds of cell division, the latter cells move toward the incisal end and differentiate into ameloblasts that form the enamel matrix. Recent evidence from gene knockout mice suggests that fibroblast growth factor (Fgf10) plays an important role in the formation and maintenance of stem cells in the development of mouse incisors. The role of dental stem cells in odontogenic tumors is discussed.

Key words Adult stem cells Tooth Mouse incisor Fgf10 Ameloblastoma Notch