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Alligator Stem Cells Offer Hope for Tooth Regeneration in Humans
sci-news.com ^ | 5/17/13 | Natali Anderson

Posted on 05/18/2013 2:08:28 PM PDT by LibWhacker

An international team of scientists led by Prof Cheng-Ming Chuong from the University of Southern California has discovered unique cellular and molecular mechanisms behind tooth renewal in American alligators (Alligator mississippiensis).

Their findings, published in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, pave the way for tooth regeneration in people.

“Humans naturally only have two sets of teeth – baby teeth and adult teeth. Ultimately, we want to identify stem cells that can be used as a resource to stimulate tooth renewal in adult humans who have lost teeth. But, to do that, we must first understand how they renew in other animals and why they stop in people,” Prof Chuong said.

Whereas most vertebrates can replace teeth throughout their lives, human teeth are naturally replaced only once, despite the lingering presence of a band of epithelial tissue called the dental lamina, which is crucial to tooth development.

Because alligators have well-organized teeth with similar form and structure as mammalian teeth and are capable of lifelong tooth renewal, the team reasoned that they might serve as models for mammalian tooth replacement.

“Alligator teeth are implanted in sockets of the dental bone, like human teeth. They have 80 teeth, each of which can be replaced up to 50 times over their lifetime, making them the ideal model for comparison to human teeth,” explained study lead author Prof Ping Wu, also from the University of Southern California.

The team found that each alligator tooth is a complex unit of three components – a functional tooth, a replacement tooth, and the dental lamina – in different developmental stages. The tooth units are structured to enable a smooth transition from dislodgement of the functional, mature tooth to replacement with the new tooth. Identifying three developmental phases for each tooth unit, the researchers conclude that the alligator dental laminae contain what appear to be stem cells from which new replacement teeth develop.

“Stem cells divide more slowly than other cells,” said co-author Prof Randall Widelitz of the University of Southern California.

“The cells in the alligator’s dental lamina behaved like we would expect stem cells to behave. In the future, we hope to isolate those cells from the dental lamina to see whether we can use them to regenerate teeth in the lab.”

The team also intends to learn what molecular networks are involved in repetitive renewal and hope to apply the principles to regenerative medicine in the future.


TOPICS: Health/Medicine; Science
KEYWORDS: alligator; cells; human; regeneration; stem; stemcells; teeth; tooth

1 posted on 05/18/2013 2:08:28 PM PDT by LibWhacker
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To: LibWhacker

What are alligator stems?


2 posted on 05/18/2013 2:13:33 PM PDT by nickcarraway
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To: LibWhacker
It would beat looking for which pocket my teef are in when a pretty girl walks by. ;)

/johnny

3 posted on 05/18/2013 2:16:33 PM PDT by JRandomFreeper (Gone Galt)
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To: LibWhacker

AlligaTOR? Woulda thought it woudl be fro ma beaver or soemthign where their teeth keep growing- But I’m ok with havign Gator breath I guess


4 posted on 05/18/2013 2:17:56 PM PDT by CottShop (Scientific belief does not constitute scientific evidence, nor does it convey scientific knowledge)
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To: LibWhacker

Gonna get me some FANGS!


5 posted on 05/18/2013 2:20:42 PM PDT by Dr. Bogus Pachysandra ( Ya can't pick up a turd by the clean end!)
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To: LibWhacker

OK, but can they tweak them to automatically grow shoes on your feet??


6 posted on 05/18/2013 2:39:04 PM PDT by mikrofon (Skins Game)
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To: LibWhacker

7 posted on 05/18/2013 2:52:18 PM PDT by conservativeimage.com (I don't blame Obama. I blame America.)
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To: conservativeimage.com

LOL Oops! Let’s try that again.


8 posted on 05/18/2013 3:03:47 PM PDT by TigersEye ("No man left behind" is more than an Army Ranger credo it's the character of America.)
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To: LibWhacker; Revolting cat!
What could possibly go wrong?


9 posted on 05/18/2013 3:06:30 PM PDT by a fool in paradise (America 2013 - STUCK ON STUPID)
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To: JRandomFreeper

Forget the teeth....

Just stuff a sock....like Al Gore at a photo shoot....


10 posted on 05/18/2013 3:14:39 PM PDT by nevergore
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To: nevergore

11 posted on 05/18/2013 3:21:39 PM PDT by Moonman62 (The US has become a government with a country, rather than a country with a government.)
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To: LibWhacker

Mayweather’s opponents could probably use this technology officer


12 posted on 05/18/2013 3:22:27 PM PDT by Vendome (Don't take life so seriously, you won't live through it anyway)
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To: Dr. Bogus Pachysandra

Just thinkin’... It’d really hurt to bite your tongue!


13 posted on 05/18/2013 3:30:51 PM PDT by LibWhacker
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To: conservativeimage.com
Why do I expect William Shatner and dated dramatic music when I see that?
14 posted on 05/18/2013 3:37:26 PM PDT by nomad
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To: conservativeimage.com

Perfect look for lawyers.


15 posted on 05/18/2013 3:50:05 PM PDT by glorgau
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To: LibWhacker

"..yeah,but then you get the urge to eat wildebeest whole"

16 posted on 05/18/2013 4:00:22 PM PDT by Doogle (USAF.68-73..8th TFW Ubon Thailand..never store a threat you should have eliminated))
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To: Doogle

I was sure the comments on this one would be good - and I wasn’t disappointed :- )


17 posted on 05/18/2013 4:21:42 PM PDT by Lake Living
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To: LibWhacker

18 posted on 05/19/2013 4:44:54 AM PDT by Dr. Sivana (There's no salvation in politics.)
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