Epithelial Label-Retaining Cells Are Absent during Tooth Cycling in Salmo salar and Polypterus senegalus
Journal article, Peer reviewed
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Original versionVandenplas S, Willems M, Witten PE, Hansen T, Fjelldal PG, Huysseune A (2016) Epithelial Label-Retaining Cells Are Absent during Tooth Cycling in Salmo salar and Polypterus senegalus. PLoS ONE 11(4): e0152870. doi:10.1371/journal.pone.0152870 10.1371/journal.pone.0152870
The Atlantic salmon (Salmo salar) and African bichir (Polypterus senegalus) are both actinopterygian fish species that continuously replace their teeth without the involvement of a successional dental lamina. Instead, they share the presence of a middle dental epithelium: an epithelial tier enclosed by inner and outer dental epithelium. It has been hypothesized that this tier could functionally substitute for a successional dental lamina and might be a potential niche to house epithelial stem cells involved in tooth cycling. Therefore, in this study we performed a BrdU pulse chase experiment on both species to (1) determine the localization and extent of proliferating cells in the dental epithelial layers, (2) describe cell dynamics and (3) investigate if label-retaining cells are present, suggestive for the putative presence of stem cells. Cells proliferate in the middle dental epithelium, outer dental epithelium and cervical loop at the lingual side of the dental organ to form a new tooth germ. Using long chase times, both in S. salar (eight weeks) and P. senegalus (eight weeks and twelve weeks), we could not reveal the presence of label-retaining cells in the dental organ. Immunostaining of P. senegalus dental organs for the transcription factor Sox2, often used as a stem cell marker, labelled cells in the zone of outer dental epithelium which grades into the oral epithelium (ODE transition zone) and the inner dental epithelium of a successor only. The location of Sox2 distribution does not provide evidence for epithelial stem cells in the dental organ and, more specifically, in the middle dental epithelium. Comparison of S. salar and P. senegalus reveals shared traits in tooth cycling and thus advances our understanding of the developmental mechanism that ensures lifelong replacement.