Important roles of odontoblast membrane phospholipids in early dentin mineralization

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4 Citations (Scopus)


The objective of this study was to first identify the timing and location of early mineralization of mouse first molar, and subsequently, to characterize the nucleation site for mineral formation in dentin from a materials science viewpoint and evaluate the effect of environmental cues (pH) affecting early dentin formation. Early dentin mineralization in mouse first molars began in the buccal central cusp on post-natal day 0 (P0), and was first hypothesized to involve collagen fibers. However, elemental mapping indicated the co-localization of phospholipids with collagen fibers in the early mineralization area. Co-localization of phosphatidylserine and annexin V, a functional protein that binds to plasma membrane phospholipids, indicated that phospholipids in the pre-dentin matrix were derived from the plasma membrane. A 3-dimensional in vitro biomimetic mineralization assay confirmed that phospholipids from the plasma membrane are critical factors initiating mineralization. Additionally, the direct measurement of the tooth germ pH, indicated it to be alkaline. The alkaline environment markedly enhanced the mineralization of cell membrane phospholipids. These results indicate that cell membrane phospholipids are nucleation sites for mineral formation, and could be important materials for bottom-up approaches aiming for rapid and more complex fabrication of dentin-like structures.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)657-666
Number of pages10
JournalJournal of Materials Chemistry B
Issue number3
Publication statusPublished - Dec 7 2022

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • General Chemistry
  • Biomedical Engineering
  • General Materials Science


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