Jul 1, 1989

Interactions between the extracellular matrix and the cell surface determine tooth morphogenesis and the cellular differentiation of the dental mesenchyme

I Thesleff


A series of reciprocal interactions between epithelial and mesenchymal tissues control the morphogenesis and cell differentiation in the developing tooth. The molecular mechanisms operating in these interactions are, however, unknown at present. Structural components of the extracellular matrix (ECM) affect cellular behavior in the embryo and appear to be involved also in these regulatory processes. The ECM molecules exert their effects on cells through binding to specific matrix receptors on the cell surface. This review article summarizes our findings on the distribution patterns during tooth development of the ECM glycoproteins, fibronectin and tenascin, and of the cell surface proteoglycan, syndecan, which functions as a receptor for interstitial matrix. Based on the observed changes in these distribution patterns and on experimental evidence, roles for these molecules in epithelial-mesenchymal interactions during tooth development are suggested. Fibronectin and tenascin are enriched in the dental basement membrane at the time of odontoblast differentiation. These matrix glycoproteins may be involved in the cell-matrix interaction which controls differentiation of the dental mesenchymal cells into odontoblasts. Tenascin and...Continue Reading

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Mentioned in this Paper

TNC gene
Entire Embryo
Extracellular Matrix
Recombination, Genetic
Surface Properties

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