Chick tooth induction revisited

Jinglei Cai, Sung Won Cho, Mikio Ishiyama, Masato Mikami, Akihiro Hosoya, Yukishige Kozawa, Hayato Ohshima, Han Sung Jung

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

5 Citations (Scopus)


Teeth have been missing from Aves for almost 100 million years. However, it is believed that the avian oral epithelium retains the molecular signaling required to induce odontogenesis, and this has been widely examined using heterospecific recombinations with mouse dental mesenchyme. It has also been argued that teeth can form from the avian oral epithelium owing to contamination of the mouse mesenchyme with mouse dental epithelial cells. To investigate the possibility of tooth formation from chick oral epithelium and the characteristics of possible chick enamel, we applied LacZ transgenic mice during heterospecific recombination and examined the further tooth formation. Transmission electron microscopy was used to identify the two tissues during development after heterospecific recombination. No mixing was detected between chick oral epithelium and mouse dental mesenchyme after 2 days, and secretory ameloblasts with Tomes' processes were observed after 1 week. Teeth were formed after 3 weeks with a single cusp pattern, possibly determined by epithelial factors, which is similar to that of the avian tooth in the late Jurassic period. These recombinant teeth were smaller than mouse molars, whereas perfect structures of both ameloblasts and enamel showed histological characteristics similar to those of mice. Together these observations consistent with previous report that odontogenesis is initially directed by species-specific mesenchymal signals interplaying with common epithelial signals.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)465-472
Number of pages8
JournalJournal of Experimental Zoology Part B: Molecular and Developmental Evolution
Issue number5
Publication statusPublished - 2009 Jul

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Ecology, Evolution, Behavior and Systematics
  • Molecular Medicine
  • Animal Science and Zoology
  • Genetics
  • Developmental Biology


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