Histochemical and immunocytochemical study of hard tissue formation in dental pulp during the healing process in rat molars after tooth replantation

Hiroko Tsukamoto-Tanaka, Mika Ikegame, Ritsuo Takagi, Hidemitsu Harada, Hayato Ohshima

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61 Citations (Scopus)


Dental pulp is assumed to possess the capacity to elaborate both bone and dentin matrix under the pathological conditions following tooth injury. This study was undertaken to clarify the mechanism inducing bone formation in the dental pulp by investigating the pulpal healing process, after tooth replantation, by micro-computed tomography (μ-CT), immunocytochemistry for heat-shock protein (HSP)-25 and cathepsin K (CK), and histochemistry for both alkaline phosphatase (ALP) and tartrate-resistant acid phosphatase (TRAP). Under deep anesthesia, the upper right first molar of 4-week-old Wistar rats was extracted and immediately repositioned in the original socket. In control teeth at this age, the periphery of the coronal dental pulp showed intense ALP-positive and HSP-25-positive reactions, whereas there were no TRAP-positive or CK-positive cells. Tooth replantation weakened or terminated ALP-positive and HSP-25-positive reactions in the pulp tissue at the initial stages. At 3-7 days after operation, the ALP-positive region recovered from the root apex to the coronal pulp followed by HSP-25-positive reactions in successful cases showing tertiary dentin formation. In other cases, TRAP-positive and CK-positive cells appeared in the pulp tissue of the replanted tooth at postoperative days 5-10 and remained associated with the bone tissue after 12-60 days. Immunoelectron microscopy clearly demonstrated that CK-positive osteoclast-lineage cells made contact with mesenchymal cells with prominent nucleoli and well-developed cell organelles. These data suggest that the appearance of TRAP-positive and CK-positive cells is involved in the induction of bone tissue formation in dental pulp.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)219-229
Number of pages11
JournalCell and Tissue Research
Issue number2
Publication statusPublished - Aug 2006


  • Bone development
  • Dental pulp
  • Osteoclast
  • Rat (Wistar)
  • Tooth replantation

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Pathology and Forensic Medicine
  • Histology
  • Cell Biology


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