The International Journal of Developmental Biology

Int. J. Dev. Biol. 50: 481 - 489 (2006)

Vol 50, Issue 5

Proliferation and apoptosis in early molar morphogenesis - voles as models in odontogenesis

Original Article | Published: 1 April 2006

Jana Setkova*,1, Herve Lesot2,3, Eva Matalova1,5, Kirsti Witter4, Petra Matulova1 and Ivan Misek1,5

1Laboratory of Animal Embryology, IAPG CAS CZ, Brno, Czech Republic, 2UMR INSERM U595, Faculté de Medecine, Strasbourg, France, 3Université Louis Pasteur, Faculté de Chirurgie Dentaire, Strasbourg, France, 4Department of Pathobiology, University of Veterinary Medicine, Vienna, Austria and 5University of Veterinary and Pharmaceutical Sciences, Brno, Czech Republic


Proliferation and apoptosis play crucial roles in the development of multicellular organisms. Their precise balance is necessary for tissue homeostasis throughout life. The developing dentition is a suitable model to study proliferation and apoptosis during embryogenesis, but the corresponding studies have been carried out principally in the mouse. The present study aimed to examine proliferation and apoptosis in the vole (Microtus sp., Rodentia) during the early morphogenesis of the first upper molar and compare it to what is known from the mouse. To this end, apoptosis and proliferation were investigated using histology and computer-aided 3D reconstruction. Mitoses accumulated predominantly in the developing cervical loop. Apoptosis during early odontogenesis showed highly specific spatio-temporal patterns in the dental epithelium. Apoptotic bodies were localised in non-dividing cell populations. They accumulated in the same places as described in the mouse: antemolar vestiges (ED 12.5 ­ 15.5), enamel knot (ED 14.5 ­ 15.5), stalk and palatally along the whole first molar tooth germ longitudinal axis (ED 15 - 15.5). Early tooth development in the field vole, including the distribution of apoptosis and mitosis, is very similar to that reported in the mouse, with the exception of the antemolar region. The microtine antemolar vestige is preserved longer than the murine one. It is conceivable that additional distinct differences in morphogenetic processes appear later in tooth development.


tooth development, morphogenesis, Microtus, dentition, 3D reconstruction

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