Mice and rats, two species of rodents, show some dental similarities such as tooth number and cusp number, and differences such as tooth size and cusp size. In this study, the tooth size, tooth number, cusp size and cusp number, which are four major factors of the tooth patterning, were investigated by the heterospecific recombinations of tissues from the molar tooth germs of mice and rats. Our results suggest that the dental epithelium and mesenchyme determine the cusp size and tooth size respectively and the cusp number is co-regulated by the tooth size and cusp size. It is also suggested that the mesenchymal cell number regulates not the tooth size but the tooth number. The relationships among these factors in tooth patterning including micropatterning (cusp size and cusp number) and macropatterning (tooth size and tooth number) were analyzed in a reaction diffusion mechanism. Key molecules determining the patterning of teeth remains to be elucidated for controlling the tooth size and cusp size of bioengineered tooth.
All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes
- Molecular Biology
- Developmental Biology
- Cell Biology