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

Cat dental pulp after denervation and subsequent re-innervation: changes in blood-flow regulation and distribution of neuropeptide-, GAP-43- and low-affinity neurotrophin receptor-like immunoreactivity.

The effects of unilateral extramandibular inferior alveolar nerve injury on pulpal blood-flow responses to electrical stimulation and i.v. injections of substance P (SP) in cat mandibular canine teeth with a dentinal lesion were investigated with laser Doppler flowmetry. After blood-flow recordings, the teeth were fixed and the pulps were examined with light and electron microscopy. The distribution of pulpal SP, neurokinin A (NKA), calcitonin gene-related peptide (CGRP), vasoactive intestinal polypeptide (VIP), neuropeptide Y (NPY), growth-associated protein (GAP-43) and low-affinity neurotrophin receptor (LANR)-like immunoreactivity was examined with immunohistochemical fluorescence microscopy. Blood-flow recordings, performed at 10 days and 1 month postoperatively, showed that vasodilation, occurring in control teeth after bipolar electrical stimulation of the tooth crown, was absent in the denervated pulps, whereas at 3 months, five of six teeth had regained responsiveness, although at a low level. There was enhanced vasodilation (by 370%) to SP injections (400 fmol i.v.) at 10 days in denervated pulps. Such supersensitivity was reduced at 1 month despite the apparent lack of nerve fibers, and the response fell further towards the level in control teeth at 3 months when pulpal axons reappeared. At 10 days and 1 month postoperatively, light and electron microscopy demonstrated that surgery had resulted in total pulpal denervation. At 3 and 6 months, a large number of regenerated pulpal axons reappeared, in accordance with previous findings. At 10 days and 1 month after nerve transection immunohistochemistry showed a complete loss of pulpal immunoreactivity to all the neuropeptides that were studied. At 3 and 6 months, neuropeptide immunoreactivity reappeared but far fewer number of pulpal nerve fibers were SP-, NKA- and CGRP-immunoreactive than under normal conditions, as demonstrated by double-labeling experiments with GAP-43- or LANR-antiserum. The results indicate that pulpal hemoregulatory functions, which are lost after denervation, do not return to normal levels after nerve regeneration. This malfunction may be caused by inadequate target re-innervation and/or a deficiency of neuropeptides in the re-innervated pulp.[1]


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