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Localization of Runx2, Osterix, and Osteopontin in Tooth Root Formation in Rat Molars

By Azumi Hirata, Toshio Sugahara and Hiroaki Nakamura


Cementogenesis starts with the differentiation of cementoblasts. Mature cementoblasts secrete cementum matrix. Cementum components are similar to bone; moreover, cementoblasts possess many characteristics similar to those of osteoblasts. Runx2 and osterix, the transcriptional factors for osteoblast differentiation, participate in tooth formation. However, the characteristics of Runx2 and osterix during the differentiation process of cementoblasts remain unclear. In this study, we examined the immunolocalization patterns of Runx2, osterix, and osteopontin during rat molar tooth formation. Periodontal ligament cells and osteoblasts located on the alveolar bone surface showed immunoreactivity for Runx2. Colocalization of Runx2 and osterix was detected in cementoblasts, which penetrated the ruptured Hertwig's epithelial root sheath and attached to root dentin. Moreover, osteopontin was observed in Runx2-positive cementoblasts facing the root surface. However, the cells adjacent to cementoblasts showed only Runx2 reactivity. Neither Runx2 nor osterix was seen in cementocytes. These results suggest that both Runx2 and osterix are important for differentiation into cementoblasts. Additionally, osterix may be indispensable for transcription of osteopontin expression. (J Histochem Cytochem 57:397–403, 2009

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Publisher: Histochemical Society
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Provided by: PubMed Central
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