Disruption of Nfic causes dissociation of odontoblasts by interfering with the formation of intercellular junctions and aberrant odontoblast differentiation.

Department of Conservative Dentistry and Dental Research Institute, College of Dentistry, Seoul National University, 28 Yeon-Gun Dong, Jong-Ro Gu, Seoul 110-749, Korea.
Journal of Histochemistry and Cytochemistry (Impact Factor: 2.4). 02/2009; 57(5):469-76. DOI: 10.1369/jhc.2009.952622
Source: PubMed

ABSTRACT We reported previously that Nfic-deficient mice exhibit short and abnormal molar roots and severely deformed incisors. The objective of this study is to address the mechanisms responsible for these changes using morphological, IHC, and RT-PCR analysis. Nfic-deficient mice exhibited aberrant odontoblasts and abnormal dentin formation in molar roots and the labial crown analog of incisors. The most striking changes observed in these aberrant odontoblasts were the loss of intercellular junctions and the decreased expression of ZO-1 and occludin. As a result, they became dissociated, had a round shape, and lost their cellular polarity and arrangement as a sheet of cells. Furthermore, the dissociated odontoblasts became trapped in dentin-like mineralized tissue, resembling osteodentin in the overall morphology. These findings suggest that loss of the Nfic gene interferes with the formation of intercellular junctions that causes aberrant odontoblast differentiation and abnormal dentin formation. Collectively, these changes in odontoblasts contributed to development of molars with short and abnormal roots in Nfic-deficient mice.

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