Background: Amelogenesis, the formation of dental enamel, is well understood at the histomorphological level but the underlying molecular mechanisms are poorly characterized. Ameloblasts secrete enamel matrix proteins and Ca2+, and also regulate extracellular pH as the formation of hydroxyapatite crystals generates large quantities of protons. Genetic or environmental impairment of transport and regulatory processes (e.g. dental fluorosis) leads to the development of enamel defects such as hypomineralization.Aims: Our aims were to optimize the culture conditions for the three-dimensional growth of ameloblast-derived HAT-7 cells and to test the effects of fluoride exposure on HAT-7 spheroid formation.Methods: To generate 3D HAT-7 structures, cells were dispersed and plated within a Matrigel extracellular matrix scaffold and incubated in three different culture media. Spheroid formation was then monitored over a two-week period. Ion transporter and tight-junction protein expression was investigated by RT-qPCR. Intracellular Ca2+ and pH changes were measured by microfluorometry using the fluorescent dyes fura-2 and BCECF.Results: A combination of Hepato-STIM epithelial cell differentiation medium and Matrigel induced the expansion and formation of 3D HAT-7 spheroids. The cells retained their epithelial cell morphology and continued to express both ameloblast-specific and ion transport-specific marker genes. Furthermore, like two-dimensional HAT-7 monolayers, the HAT-7 spheroids were able to regulate their intracellular pH and to show intracellular calcium responses to extracellular stimulation. Finally, we demonstrated that HAT-7 spheroids may serve as a disease model for studying the effects of fluoride exposure during amelogenesis.Conclusion: In conclusion, HAT-7 cells cultivated within a Matrigel extracellular matrix form three-dimensional, multi-cellular, spheroidal structures that retain their functional capacity for pH regulation and intracellular Ca2+ signaling. This new 3D model will allow us to gain a better understanding of the molecular mechanisms involved in amelogenesis, not only in health but also in disorders of enamel formation, such as those resulting from fluoride exposure.
AbstractCircadian rhythm is involved in the development and diseases of many tissues. However, as an essential environmental regulating factor, its effect on amelogenesis has not been fully elucidated. The present study aims to investigate the correlation between circadian rhythm and ameloblast differentiation and to explore the mechanism by which circadian genes regulate ameloblast differentiation. Circadian disruption models were constructed in mice for in vivo experiments. An ameloblast-lineage cell (ALC) line was used for in vitro studies. As essential molecules of the circadian system, Bmal1 and Per2 exhibited circadian expression in ALCs. Circadian disruption mice showed reduced amelogenin (AMELX) expression and enamel matrix secretion and downregulated expression of BMAL1, PER2, PPARγ, phosphorylated AKT1 and β-catenin, cytokeratin-14 and F-actin in ameloblasts. According to previous findings and our study, BMAL1 positively regulated PER2. Therefore, the present study focused on PER2-mediated ameloblast differentiation and enamel formation. Per2 knockdown decreased the expression of AMELX, PPARγ, phosphorylated AKT1 and β-catenin, promoted nuclear β-catenin accumulation, inhibited mineralization and altered the subcellular localization of E-cadherin in ALCs. Overexpression of PPARγ partially reversed the above results in Per2-knockdown ALCs. Furthermore, in in vivo experiments, the length of incisor eruption was significantly decreased in the circadian disturbance group compared to that in the control group, which was rescued by using a PPARγ agonist in circadian disturbance mice. In conclusion, through regulation of the PPARγ/AKT1/β-catenin signalling axis, PER2 played roles in amelogenin expression, cell junctions and arrangement, enamel matrix secretion and mineralization during ameloblast differentiation, which exert effects on enamel formation.
Enamel formation is a serial and complex biological process, during which related genes are expressed progressively in a spatiotemporal manner. This process is vulnerable to environmental cues, resulting in developmental defects of enamel (DDE). However, how environmental factors are biologically integrated during enamel formation is still poorly understood. Here, we investigated the mechanism of DDE elicited by a model endocrine-disrupting chemical, bisphenol A (BPA), in mouse incisors. We show that BPA exposure leads to DDE in mouse incisors, as well as excessive proliferation in dental epithelial stem/progenitor cells. Western blotting, chromatin immunoprecipitation sequencing, and immunofluorescence staining revealed that this effect was accompanied by upregulation of a repressive mark, H3K27me3, in the labial cervical loop of mouse incisors. Perturbation of H3K27me3 methyltransferase EZH2 repressed the level of H3K27me3 and partially attenuated the excessive proliferation in dental epithelial stem/progenitor cells and DDE induced by BPA exposure. Overall, our results demonstrate the essential role of repressive histone modification H3K27me3 in DDE elicited by exposure to an endocrine-disrupting chemical.
Macromolecular assembly of extracellular enamel matrix proteins (EMPs) is intimately associated with the nucleation, growth, and maturation of highly organized hydroxyapatite crystals giving rise to healthy dental enamel. Although the colocalization of two of the most abundant EMPs amelogenin (Amel) and ameloblastin (Ambn) in molar enamel has been established, the evidence toward their interaction is scarce. We used co-immunoprecipitation (co-IP) to show evidence of direct molecular interactions between recombinant and native Amel and Ambn. Ambn fragments containing Y/F-x-x-Y/L/F-x-Y/F self-assembly motif were isolated from the co-IP column and characterized by mass spectroscopy. We used recombinant Ambn (rAmbn) mutants with deletion of exons 5 and 6 as well as Ambn derived synthetic peptides to demonstrate that Ambn binds to Amel via its previously identified Y/F-x-x-Y/L/F-x-Y/F self-assembly motif at the N-terminus of its exon 5 encoded region. Using an N-terminal specific anti-Ambn antibody, we showed that Ambn N-terminal fragments colocalized with Amel from secretory to maturation stages of enamel formation in a single section of developing mouse incisor, and closely followed mineral patterns in enamel rod interrod architecture. We conclude that Ambn self-assembly motif is involved in its interaction with Amel in solution and that colocalization between the two proteins persists from secretory to maturation stages of amelogenesis. Our in vitro and in situ data support the notion that Amel and Ambn may form heteromolecular assemblies that may perform important physiological roles during enamel formation.
Objectives: the name of Jan Evangelista Purkyně (Purkinje in German), born in Bohemia in 1787 and died in Prague in 1869, is mainly associated with discoveries in histology and specialist fields of Medicine like embriology, histological techniques, ophthalmology, cardiology and neurophysiology. This short article presents a brief account of his life, commemorates his achievements in biology and medicine but also in in the politics and literature of his Country (he was elected to the Diet of Bohemia but also he composed poems and important translations from German, French and Italian languages into Czech) and examines in depth his contribution to Dentistry. Materials and Methods: Purkyně’s major contributions to Dentistry, which focused on embryology and dental histology, endodontics and periodontology, are traced to two dissertations in Latin which were discussed by his pupils (Meyer Fraenkel and Isaac Raschkow), at Breslau University in 1835: we present a brief summary of each, with the major innovative findings highlighted. Results: the two dissertations contain remarkable, though often overlooked, contributions to Dentistry. Among these we can indicate the individuation of: the dental cement (substantia ostoidea), the acquired dental pellicle, the nature of optical illusion of Hunter-Schreger lines, the “enamel pulp” from which the enamel would evolve, the sub-odontoblastic nervous plexus which is the cause of tooth sensitivity, the predentine, the organic nature of the process of enamel formation, the dentine and enamel formation in opposing directions, the presence of alveolus membrane (id est: the periodontium). Conclusions: after reviewing the main innovations these two dissertations made to Dentistry, Purkyně’s personal share in both is very clear. Both the two his pupils acknowledged their debt to Purkyně and also famous contemporary Purkinje scientists such as Alexander Nasmyth, Sir Richard Owen, Sir James Paget had no doubt he is had generated the ideas expressed in the two little treatises.