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Please use this identifier to cite or link to this item: http://hdl.handle.net/1942/8093

Title: Neuro-odontoblast interactions
Authors: STRUYS, Tom
De Peralta, Tracy
Raab, Wolfgang Hans-Michael
POLITIS, Constantinus
Schepers, Serge
Issue Date: 2007
Publisher: Quintessenz Verlag GmbH, Berlin
Citation: Chinese Journal of Dental Research, 10(2). p. 14-20
Abstract: To study the close relationship between odontoblasts and intradental nerves in order to elucidate its role in the sensory mechanism that is responsible for dentinal pain. Methods: Jaws dissected from 40 mice and 35 rats, and 24 human molar teeth, were routinely embedded into parrafin or aralditeĀ®. Following embedding, the specimens were studied using immunohistochemistry for some common neuronal and neuropeptide markers or electron microscopy. Results: Strong immunoreactivity for synaptophysin reveals the presence of presynaptic vesicles in the odontoblast zone of the pulp. Immunoreactivity for nerve growth factor receptor (NGFR) shows clearly that the neurites enter the dentinal tubules together with the odontoblast processes as they share a similar course. Electron microscopy images of the neuro?odontoblast relationship demonstrate some morphological characteristics such as synapse-like contacts between neurites and odontoblast processes, the presence of numerous small granular vesicles (SGV) and some clear cored vesicles in the odontoblast process at the synaptic contact and a typical synaptic cleft, 15 to 20 nm in width. From all these features, we can describe these neuro?odontoblast relationships as synaptic, based on immunological and morphological characteristics. Conclusion: Although it has previously been proposed that odontoblasts also could act as a specialised receptor cell, to date no synaptic or gap junctions connecting them with the nerve fibres have been described. In this investigation of mouse, rat and human odontoblasts and intrapulpal and intradentinal nerves, we demonstrated the presence of chemical synapses using electron microscopy and immunohistochemistry.
URI: http://hdl.handle.net/1942/8093
ISSN: 1462-6446
Category: A2
Type: Journal Contribution
Appears in Collections: Research publications

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