Navigation Links
Alligator stem cell study gives clues to tooth regeneration
Date:5/14/2013

Alligators may help scientists learn how to stimulate tooth regeneration in people, according to new research led by the Keck School of Medicine of the University of Southern California (USC).

For the first time, a global team of researchers led by USC pathology Professor Cheng-Ming Chuong, M.D., Ph.D., has uncovered unique cellular and molecular mechanisms behind tooth renewal in American alligators. Their study, titled "Specialized stem cell niche enables repetitive renewal of alligator teeth," appears in Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, the official journal of the United States National Academy of Sciences.

"Humans naturally only have two sets of teethbaby teeth and adult teeth," said Chuong. "Ultimately, we want to identify stem cells that can be used as a resource to stimulate tooth renewal in adult humans who have lost teeth. But, to do that, we must first understand how they renew in other animals and why they stop in people."

Whereas most vertebrates can replace teeth throughout their lives, human teeth are naturally replaced only once, despite the lingering presence of a band of epithelial tissue called the dental lamina, which is crucial to tooth development. Because alligators have well-organized teeth with similar form and structure as mammalian teeth and are capable of lifelong tooth renewal, the authors reasoned that they might serve as models for mammalian tooth replacement.

"Alligator teeth are implanted in sockets of the dental bone, like human teeth," said Ping Wu, Ph.D., assistant professor of pathology at the Keck School of Medicine and first author of the study. "They have 80 teeth, each of which can be replaced up to 50 times over their lifetime, making them the ideal model for comparison to human teeth."

Using microscopic imaging techniques, the researchers found that each alligator tooth is a complex unit of three componentsa functional tooth, a replacement tooth, and the dental laminain different developmental stages. The tooth units are structured to enable a smooth transition from dislodgement of the functional, mature tooth to replacement with the new tooth. Identifying three developmental phases for each tooth unit, the researchers conclude that the alligator dental laminae contain what appear to be stem cells from which new replacement teeth develop.

"Stem cells divide more slowly than other cells," said co-author Randall B. Widelitz, Ph.D., associate professor of pathology at the Keck School of Medicine. "The cells in the alligator's dental lamina behaved like we would expect stem cells to behave. In the future, we hope to isolate those cells from the dental lamina to see whether we can use them to regenerate teeth in the lab."

The researchers also intend to learn what molecular networks are involved in repetitive renewal and hope to apply the principles to regenerative medicine in the future.

The authors also report novel cellular mechanisms by which the tooth unit develops in the embryo and molecular signaling that speeds growth of replacement teeth when functional teeth are lost prematurely. Co-authors include colleagues from the Louisiana Department of Wildlife and Fisheries, University of Georgia, National Cheng Kung University, National Taiwan University, and Xiangya Hospital in China. The research was supported by the National Institute of Arthritis and Musculoskeletal and Skin Diseases through grants 5R01AR042177-19, 5R01AR060306-03 and 2R01AR047364-11A1.


'/>"/>

Contact: Alison Trinidad
alison.trinidad@usc.edu
323-442-3941
University of Southern California - Health Sciences
Source:Eurekalert

Related biology news :

1. Despite their thick skins, alligators and crocodiles are surprisingly touchy
2. Study by UC Santa Barbara researchers suggests that bacteria communicate by touch
3. Law that regulates shark fishery is too liberal: UBC study
4. New study will help protect vulnerable birds from impacts of climate change
5. Study jointly led by UCSB researcher supports theory of extraterrestrial impact
6. BYU study: Using a gun in bear encounters doesnt make you safer
7. 15-year study: When it comes to creating wetlands, Mother Nature is in charge
8. Pycnogenol (French maritime pine bark extract) shown to improve menopause symptoms in new study
9. Crystal structure of archael chromatin clarified in new study
10. EU-funded study underlines importance of Congo Basin for global climate and biodiversity
11. University of Houston study shows BP oil spill hurt marshes, but recovery possible
Post Your Comments:
*Name:
*Comment:
*Email:
(Date:4/11/2017)... Research and Markets has announced the addition of the ... ... grow at a CAGR of 30.37% during the period 2017-2021. ... prepared based on an in-depth market analysis with inputs from industry ... over the coming years. The report also includes a discussion of ...
(Date:4/11/2017)... NXT-ID, Inc. (NASDAQ:   NXTD ) ("NXT-ID" or ... independent Directors Mr. Robin D. Richards and Mr. ... the company,s corporate governance and expertise. ... Gino Pereira , Chief Executive Officer said," ... and benefiting from their considerable expertise as we move forward ...
(Date:4/5/2017)...  The Allen Institute for Cell Science today announces ... portal and dynamic digital window into the human cell. ... application of deep learning to create predictive models of ... a growing suite of powerful tools. The Allen Cell ... publicly available resources created and shared by the Allen ...
Breaking Biology News(10 mins):
(Date:4/20/2017)... MN and Bethesda, MD (PRWEB) , ... April ... ... Advancing Innovation announce the formation of a unique intellectual property (IP) sharing and ... potential of their most promising inventions. A main component of this effort is ...
(Date:4/20/2017)... Israel , April 20, 2017  BrainStorm Cell ... cell technologies for neurodegenerative diseases, announced today that Chaim ... for Regenerative Medicine,s (ARM) 5 th Annual Cell & ... 09:40 EDT in Boston . ... Medical Officer & Chief Operating Officer, will participate in a ...
(Date:4/19/2017)... ... April 18, 2017 , ... The ... a key device for generating monodisperse droplets of known diameters for research applications ... generating monodisperse solid particles by drying monodisperse droplets. , The VOAG requires ...
(Date:4/19/2017)... ... April 18, 2017 , ... Alisa Wright, founder and CEO of ... Purdue College of Pharmacy in Lafayette, Indiana. , The Distinguished Alumni Award was ... their careers and other scientific endeavors. , Wright began her career in the ...
Breaking Biology Technology: