1Laboratory of Oral Pathology, 2Department of Orthodontics, 3Department of Endodontology and Operative Dentistry and 4Department of Removable Prosthodontics, Faculty of Dental Science, Kyushu University, Fukuoka, Japan
This study presents the expression pattern and functions of thymosin beta 10 (Tbeta10), a Tbeta4 homologue during the development of mouse lower first molars. An in situ signal of Tbeta10 was detected on embryonic day 10.5 (E10.5)-E15.5 mainly in dental mesenchymal cells as well as in dental epithelial cells, while Tbeta4 was expressed in dental epithelial cells. In the late bell stage, preodontoblasts with strong Tbeta10 expression and preameloblasts with strong Tbeta4 expression exhibited face-to-face localization, suggesting that an intimate cell-cell interaction might exist between preodontoblasts and preameloblasts to form dentin and enamel matrices. A strong Tbeta10 signal was found in odontoblasts in the lateral side of the dental pulp and in Hertwig’s epithelial root sheath, thus suggesting that Tbeta10 participates in the formation of the outline of the tooth root. An inhibition assay using Tbeta10-siRNA in E11.0 mandibles showed significant growth inhibition in the tooth germ. The Tbeta10-siRNA-treated E15.0 tooth germ also showed significant developmental arrest. The number of Ki67-positive cells significantly decreased in the Tbeta10-siRNA-treated mandibles. The cellular proliferative activity was also significantly suppressed in Tb10-siRNA-treated cultured mouse dental pulpal and epithelial cells. These results indicate that developmental arrest of the tooth germ might be caused by a reduction in cell proliferative activity. The stage-specific temporal and spatial expression pattern of Tbeta10 in the developing tooth germ is indicative of multiple functions of Tbeta10 in the developmental course from initiation to root formation of the tooth germ.