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Hoffmann, R. A wiki for the life sciences where authorship matters. Nature Genetics (2008)

Ultrastructural verification of anchoring role of lamina fibroreticularis of dental basement membrane in odontogenesis.

In a previous study of the developing tooth a characteristic fibrillar layer associated with the basement membrane of the inner enamel epithelium was found to be a highly specialized lamina fibroreticularis of the basement membrane which is unusually rich in basotubules, 10 nm wide microfibril-like structures. In this study this layer was further examined in detail in the hope of ultrastructurally elucidating its role in odontogenesis. Tooth germs of the monkey (Macaca fuscata) were processed for thin section observations. Dental papilla cell processes were inserted into the lamina fibroreticularis and their surface was closely associated with numerous parallel basotubules. With high-resolution observations the space between the surface and nearest basotubules as well as the spaces between neighbouring basotubules were bridged by 1.5-3 nm wide filaments running perpendicular to the axis of basotubules. These results indicate that the processes of dental papilla cells are linked to groups of basotubules by means of 1.5-3 nm wide filaments. Immunoperoxidase staining showed the presence of fibronectin along basotubules as well as within the space between the process and basotubule. This result, together with the comparison of these filaments with microfibril-associated 1.2-3 nm wide fibronectin filaments and the reported abundance of fibronectin in the basement membrane area during odontogenesis, indicates that these 1.5-3 nm wide filaments are composed of fibronectin. After immunostaining for amyloid P component, done with the rat tissue because of the nature of an available antiserum, basotubules in the lamina fibroreticularis were positively stained, as has been shown in basotubules/microfibrils in other locations. Microfibrils function as anchoring rods by interlinking connective tissue components to one another and to the cells. Basotubules, thought to be basement membrane-incorporated microfibrils, in the lamina fibroreticularis in this study are also likely to function as an anchoring device to immobilize dental papilla cells along the basement membrane. Such an arrangement of mesenchymal cells is known to be crucial for the successful differentiation of odontoblasts in the developing tooth.[1]


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