Pituitary adenylate cyclase activating polypeptide (PACAP) is a neuropeptide with widespread distribution. PACAP plays an important role in the development of the nervous system, it has a trophic and protective effect, and it is also implicated in the regulation of various physiological functions. Teeth are originated from the mesenchyme of the neural crest and the ectoderm of the first branchial arch, suggesting similarities with the development of the nervous system. Earlier PACAP-immunoreactive fibers have been found in the odontoblastic and subodontoblastic layers of the dental pulp. Our previous examinations have shown that PACAP deficiency causes alterations in the morphology and structure of the developing molars of 7-day-old mice. In our present study, morphometric and structural comparison was performed on the incisors of 1-year-old wild-type and PACAP-deficient mice. Hard tissue density measurements and morphometric comparison were carried out on the mandibles and the lower incisors with micro-CT. For structural examination, Raman microscopy was applied on frontal thin sections of the mandible. With micro-CT morphometrical measurements, the size of the incisors and the relative volume of the pulp to dentin were significantly smaller in the PACAP-deficient group compared to the wild-type animals. The density of calcium hydroxyapatite in the dentin was reduced in the PACAP-deficient mice. No structural differences could be observed in the enamel with Raman microscopy. Significant differences were found in the dentin of PACAP-deficient mice with Raman microscopy, where increased carbonate/phosphate ratio indicates higher intracrystalline disordering. The evaluation of amide III bands in the dentin revealed higher structural diversity in wild-type mice. Based upon our present and previous results, it is obvious that PACAP plays an important role in tooth development with the regulation of morphogenesis, dentin, and enamel mineralization. Further studies are required to clarify the molecular background of the effects of PACAP on tooth development.
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Cellular and Molecular Neuroscience