Ameloblast apoptosis and IGF-1 receptor expression in the continuously erupting rat incisor model.

Faculty of Dentistry, Kuwait University, Safat 13110, Kuwait.
APOPTOSIS (Impact Factor: 3.95). 01/2000; 4(6):441-7. DOI: 10.1023/A:1009600409421
Source: PubMed

ABSTRACT Enamel-producing cells (ameloblasts) pass through several phenotypic and functional stages during enamel formation. In the transition between secretory and maturation stages, about one quarter of the ameloblasts suddenly undergo apoptosis. We have studied this phenomenon using the continuously erupting rat incisor model. A special feature of this model is that all stages of ameloblast differentiation are presented within a single longitudinal section of the developing tooth. This permits investigation of the temporal sequence of gene and growth factor receptor expression during ameloblast differentiation and apoptosis. We describe the light and electron microscopic morphology of ameloblast apoptosis and the pattern of insulin-like growth factor-1 receptor expression by ameloblasts in the continuously erupting rat incisor model. In the developing rat incisor, ameloblast apoptosis is associated with downregulated expression of the insulin-like growth factor-1 receptor. These data are consistent with the hypothesis that ameloblasts are "hard wired" for apoptosis and that insulin-like growth factor-1 receptor expression is required to block the default apoptotic pathway. Possible mechanisms of insulin-like growth factor-1 inhibition of ameloblast apoptosis are presented. The rat incisor model may be useful in studies of physiological apoptosis as it presents apoptosis in a predictable pattern in adult tissues.

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