Enamel Regeneration Mechanism Discovered
Ameloblasts, or enamel-forming cells, have limited capacity to regenerate.
Ameloblasts, or enamel-forming cells, have limited capacity to regenerate. Now researchers are pointing to the extracellular matrix protein thrombospondin 2 (TSP2) as a potential key player in the development and regeneration of these cells. Through the use of nanotechnology, the team was able to signal production of a scaffold so that remineralization can take place. The study, “Bioactive Nanofibers Enable the Identification of Thrombospondin 2 as a Key Player in Enamel Regeneration,” published in Biomaterials, sought to identify the exact role that TSP2 plays in this process.
In subsequent studies testing TSP2’s regenerative capabilities, researchers from the University of Southern California (USC) Ostrow School of Dentistry in Los Angeles say the protein demonstrates significant importance in regulating cell-matrix interactions during the formation of enamel. The USC team concludes that manipulation of signaling pathways may provide insight into potential mechanisms for tooth development and, ultimately, enamel regeneration.