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

Effects of vitamin A deficiency on rat incisor formation.

Vitamin A deficiency (A-) is known to cause morphologic changes in tooth structures. However, its effects on glycosaminoglycan (GAG) distribution in dental pulp, and the role of retinoic acid (RA) in altering these effects are not clearly defined. Tissue changes induced by vitamin A deficiency and RA administration were evaluated histologically in incisors of rats fed on one of 3 different diets: a) vitamin A sufficient (A+); b) vitamin A deficient (A-); and c) vitamin A deficient supplemented with retinoic acid (A-/RA). Four weeks after the onset of vitamin A deficiency, all rats were killed and their 4 continuously erupting incisors evaluated histologically. A- rats had altered dentine and pulp with disrupted histodifferentiation of pulpal mesenchymal cells to normal odontoblasts. The frequency of these abnormalities in dentine and pulp was lower in A-/RA rats. The enamel organ was unremarkable in the 4-week deficient period. Using special stains, we noted that pulpal GAG accumulation in A- and A-/RA rats was limited to the lingual area, while in A+ rats, GAG were distributed throughout. These data suggest that vitamin A deficiency affects histodifferentiation of pulpal mesenchymal cells to odontoblasts, as well as GAG distribution in pulp. RA administration reduces the A- changes and therefore, appears to have some activity in dentinogenesis.[1]


  1. Effects of vitamin A deficiency on rat incisor formation. Punyasingh, J.T., Hoffman, S., Harris, S.S., Navia, J.M. J. Oral Pathol. (1984) [Pubmed]
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