Localization of metallothionein (MT) and expression of MT isoforms induced by cadmium in rat dental pulp

C. A. Sogawa, N. Sogawa, T. Yamamoto, N. Oda, T. Inoue, K. Onodera, H. Furuta

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12 Citations (Scopus)


We investigated the induction of metallothionein (MT) by cadmium (Cd) in the dental pulp of rat incisors. Time-course studies of MT mRNA expression after single Cd injection were observed by Northern-blot analysis. The isoform-specific expressions of MT mRNAs (MT-I, MT-II and MT-III) were observed using the reverse transcriptase-polymerase chain reaction (RT-PCR) method. Both MT-I and MT-II mRNA levels increased within 3 h, peaked at 3 h and then decreased. These findings demonstrated that MT-I and MT-II mRNA were rapidly induced by Cd in dental pulp. MT-III mRNA was constitutively expressed in rat dental pulp, but the expression level did not change by Cd treatment. The localization of MT protein in Cd-treated rat dental pulp was determined by immunohistochemical staining using anti-MT antibody against MT-I and MT-II. MT protein was localized in the specific cell type of odontoblasts (secretory odontoblasts and resting odontoblasts). In conclusion, it is likely that stained MT in the immunohistochemical study should be MT-I and/or MT-II. Furthermore, MT-I and/or MT-II in Cd-treated rat dental pulp was localized in odontoblasts, in which accumulation of Cd were reported. The cell-specific synthesis of MT may be associated with its metal storage and detoxification role in dental tissues.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)65-72
Number of pages8
JournalJapanese Journal of Pharmacology
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - 2001


  • Cadmium
  • Dental pulp
  • Metallothionein
  • Odontoblast
  • Pulp cell

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Pharmacology


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