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

Developmental pattern and subcellular localization of parvalbumin in the rat tooth germ.

The EF-hand calcium-binding protein parvalbumin has been extensively studied in nerve and muscle cells. Its possible role in biomineralization during tooth development was here investigated by determining its subcellular localization by immunogold cytochemistry. The developmental sequences of amelogenesis and dentinogenesis were studied in rat molars, and in continuously growing rat incisors. The findings confirm that parvalbumin is a nuclear and a cytosolic protein, not associated with any particular intracellular organelle. Epithelial and mesenchymal undifferentiated cells contained no specific parvalbumin immunolabelling. In differentiated ameloblasts, secretory-pole (Tomes' process) formation was associated with a proximal-distal gradient of parvalbumin labelling. But after the Tomes' process had formed, parvalbumin was evenly distributed throughout the cell. The parvalbumin contents of ruffle-ended and smooth-ended ameloblasts appeared to be very different. Differentiated odontoblasts were less heavily labelled than ameloblasts, and the label was restricted to the cell body during the whole of dentinogenesis. These data suggest that parvalbumin could contribute to membrane plasticity during differentiation, as shown during dendritic growth in the nervous cells. Moreover, as may occur in excitable cells, parvalbumin could buffer calcium specifically in the cells producing mineralized enamel and dentine during the later stages of tooth development.[1]


  1. Developmental pattern and subcellular localization of parvalbumin in the rat tooth germ. Davideau, J.L., Celio, M.R., Hotton, D., Berdal, A. Arch. Oral Biol. (1993) [Pubmed]
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