The present study was designed to investigate mRNA expression of matrix metalloproteinase-8 (MMP-8) and MMP-13 in forming periodontium during tooth eruption in the rat. RT-PCR for the decalcified paraffin sections indicated expression of MMP-8 and MMP-13 in the periodontal tissues. In situ hydridization demonstrated expression of MMP-8 in osteoblasts, osteocytes, periodontal ligament cells, cementoblasts, and cementocytes along with collagen types I and III. In contrast, transcripts of MMP-13 were confined to a small population of osteoblasts and osteocytes in alveolar bone. The results suggested that MMP-8 may be involved in remodeling the periodontium during tooth eruption, and its expression may be coordinated with that of collagen types I and III, whereas the participation of MMP-13 may be rather limited.
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