Expression of neural cell-adhesion molecule mRNA during mouse molar tooth development

Nobuko Obara, Yuko Suzuki, Yasuko Nagai, Hiromasa Nishiyama, Itaru Mizoguchi, Masako Takeda

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

12 Citations (Scopus)


This study employed in situ hybridisation using a probe recognising all isoforms of the molecule. Expression of the molecule in tooth germs started at embryonic day 13, when they were at the bud stage. Both inner cells of the epithelial bud and peripheral cells of the dental mesenchyme were positive. At the cap stage, positive cells were found in the inner part of the enamel organ but only in a limited area near the outer enamel epithelium. In the mesenchyme at the cap stage, expression was weak in the dental papilla and strong in the follicle. From the bell stage onward, epithelial cells in the enamel organ were negative except for the cells of the stratum intermedium, which were transiently positive at early and late bell stages. In the dental papilla, expression had mostly ceased during and after the bell stage, although transient expression was found in cuspal areas at the early bell stage. The dental follicle strongly expressed neural cell-adhesion molecule (NCAM) to the end of the experimental period, at post-natal day 4. In contrast to the first molar at its earliest stage of appearance, in which both the thickened epithelium and surrounding mesenchyme were negative for the expression of the molecule, the second molar appeared as a combination of extending epithelial thickenings and mesenchymal cells strongly positive for its expression. This study newly identifies the dental papilla and the stratum intermedium as NCAM-expressing sites.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)805-813
Number of pages9
JournalArchives of Oral Biology
Issue number11
Publication statusPublished - 2002 Nov 1


  • Differentiation
  • In situ hybridisation
  • Morphogenesis
  • NCAM
  • Odontogenesis
  • Tooth germs


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