Establishment of crown-root domain borders in mouse incisor

Emma Juuri, Kan Saito, Sylvie Lefebvre, Frederic Michon

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

5 Citations (Scopus)


Teeth are composed of two domains, the enamel-covered crown and the enamel-free root. The understanding of the initiation and regulation of crown and root domain formation is important for the development of bioengineered teeth. In most teeth the crown develops before the root, and erupts to the oral cavity whereas the root anchors the tooth to the jawbone. However, in the continuously growing mouse incisor the crown and root domains form simultaneously, the crown domain forming the labial and the root domain the lingual part of the tooth. While the crown-root border on the incisor distal side supports the distal enamel extent, reflecting an evolutionary diet adaptation, on the incisor mesial side the root-like surface is necessary for the attachment of the interdental ligament between the two incisors. Therefore, the mouse incisor exhibits a functional distal-mesial asymmetry. Here, we used the mouse incisor as a model to understand the mechanisms involved in the crown-root border formation. We analyzed the cellular origins and gene expression patterns leading to the development of the mesial and distal crown-root borders. We discovered that Barx2, En1, Wnt11, and Runx3 were exclusively expressed on the mesial crown-root border. In addition, the distal border of the crown-root domain might be established by cells from a different origin and by an early Follistatin expression, factor known to be involved in the root domain formation. The use of different mechanisms to establish domain borders gives indications of the incisor functional asymmetry.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)255-264
Number of pages10
JournalGene Expression Patterns
Issue number7
Publication statusPublished - 2013


  • Ameloblast
  • Asymmetry
  • Cell differentiation
  • Cell proliferation
  • Crown-analog
  • Genetic network
  • Incisor
  • Odontoblast
  • Root-analog


Dive into the research topics of 'Establishment of crown-root domain borders in mouse incisor'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this