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

Delayed tooth eruption in membrane type-1 matrix metalloproteinase deficient mice.

Membrane-type 1 matrix metalloproteinase (MT1-MMP) is expressed highly in mineralizing tissues including bones and teeth. Mice deficient in MT1-MMP (-/-) display severe defects in skeletal development including dwarfism, osteopenia, and craniofacial abnormalities. Death occurs in these mice by about 3 weeks of age. Since MT1-MMP is expressed by the ameloblasts of the enamel organ and by the odontoblasts of the dental papilla, we asked if the developing teeth were adversely affected in the knockout animals. Molars from MT1-MMP -/- mice and controls were examined by histological, X-ray, and SEM analysis at 4, 18-20, and 25 days of postnatal development. At 4 days of development the molars from the -/- mice appeared histologically normal. At 18-20 days of development, the first molars of the -/- mice had apparently normal tooth crowns with normal dentin and enamel; however, the roots were truncated and the teeth had not yet erupted. In contrast to the -/- mice, the first molars of the 18-20-day control animals had erupted. SEM analysis of a -/- first molar and incisor revealed a normal enamel prism pattern. However, X-ray analysis demonstrated that tooth eruption was delayed by approximately 5 days and that the tooth roots were abnormally short in the knockout animals. Since MT1-MMP-deficient mice have been demonstrated to display a generalized increase in bone resorption, these data suggest that inefficient growth of bone surrounding the tooth root complex causes a delay in tooth eruption.[1]


  1. Delayed tooth eruption in membrane type-1 matrix metalloproteinase deficient mice. Bartlett, J.D., Zhou, Z., Skobe, Z., Dobeck, J.M., Tryggvason, K. Connect. Tissue Res. (2003) [Pubmed]
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