Epithelial rests of Malassez express immunoreactivity of TrkA and its distribution is regulated by sensory nerve innervation

Takashi Yamashiro, Koji Fujiyama, Tomohiro Fukunaga, Yan Wang, Teruko Takano-Yamamoto

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

29 Citations (Scopus)

Abstract

The periodontal ligament is the connective tissue that fills the space between the tooth and its bony socket. It is abundantly innervated by the sensory and sympathetic nerves. We first investigated the immunoreactivity of TrkA, which is a high-affinity receptor of nerve growth factor (NGF), in the periodontal ligament of rats. Immunoreactivity was observed at the epithelial cells in the cervical and furcation regions of the molars. These epithelial cells, which gather together to form clusters or networks, are known as the epithelial rests of Malassez. Immunoreactivity was not observed in other non- neuronal cells, such as osteoblasts, fibroblasts, odontoblasts, cementoblasts, endothelial cells, and/or osteoclasts. On the basis of these findings, we investigated the possible involvement of sensory nerve innervation in the immunoreactivity of the epithelial cells. Denervation of the inferior alveolar nerve resulted in a marked decrease in the distribution area and size of the clusters of immunoreactive cells compared with those of sham-operated rats. These findings suggest that sensory nerve innervation may have a regulatory role in maintenance of the epithelial rests of Malassez expressing TrkA in the periodontal ligament.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)979-984
Number of pages6
JournalJournal of Histochemistry and Cytochemistry
Volume48
Issue number7
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 2000 Jul

Keywords

  • Epithelial rests of Malassez
  • Sensory nerve innervation
  • TrkA

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Anatomy
  • Histology

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