Ameloblastin Fusion Protein Enhances Pulpal Healing and Dentin Formation in Porcine Teeth
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Ameloblastin (Ambn, also named “amelin” or “sheathlin”) is a protein participating in enamel formation and mesenchymal-ectodermal interaction during early dentin formation in developing teeth. Experiments have demonstrated an association between Ambn expression and healing of acute pulp wounds. The purpose of this study was to investigate if local application of recombinant fusion Ambn (rAmbn) could influence reparative dentin formation in pulpotomized teeth. In this randomized, double-blinded study, pulpotomy was performed in 28 lower central incisors in 17 adult miniature pigs. Following the surgical procedure, the exposed pulp tissue was covered either with rAmbn or with calcium hydroxide. After 2, 4, or 8 weeks, the teeth were extracted and examined by histomorphometry and immunohistochemistry using antibodies against porcine ameloblastin, collagen type I, and dentin sialoprotein (DSP). In rAmbn-treated teeth, a substantial amount of newly formed reparative dentin was observed at the application site, completely bridging the pulpal wound. Dentin formation was also observed in calcium hydroxide-treated teeth; however, the amount of reparative dentin was significantly smaller (P < 0.001) than after rAmbn treatment. Immunohistochemistry confirmed that the new hard tissue formed was similar to dentin. This is the first time a direct link between ameloblastin and dentin formation has been made in vivo. The results suggest potential for rAmbn as a biologically active pulp-dressing agent for enhanced pulpal wound healing and reparative dentin formation after pulpotomy procedures.
KeywordsAmeloblastin Amelin Dental pulp healing Dentinogenesis Pulpotomy
The DSP antibody was a kind gift from Dr. H. H. Ritchie. We also thank E. Lundberg, H. Ekdahl, and U.-B. Carlsson for excellent assistance during the animal procedures and B. Fabi for kind help with photographs and figures. The work was sponsored by EU grant QLK3-CT-2001-00090 MATRIX and Japan Society for Promotion of Science (JSPS) grant in scientific research (C) 16591921.
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