In order to examine the synthesis and secretion of enamel protein by ameloblasts in their early stages of development, immunohistochemical localization was carried out at light and electron microscopic levels using a monoclonal antibody produced in a preliminary experiment. Materials used were tooth germs of mandibular first molars of rats at 0–5 days after birth. Immunoblot analysis after two‐dimensional electrophoresis revealed that antigen molecules recognized by the monoclonal antibody were amelogenins of 26–28 kDa (pI, 6.6–7.0). An immunohistochemical examination using this monoclonal antibody demonstrated that the presecretory ameloblasts in their early stages of differentiation both synthesized amelogenin and secreted through a classical merocrine secretory pathway. In some presecretory ameloblasts as well as ameloblasts we observed the distended cisternae of rough endoplasmic reticulum (rER) which demonstrated heterogenous immunolabelling. The immunolabellings were also detected in the predentin as well as the intercellular spaces of odontoblasts and dental pulp cells which indicated penetration of amelogenin from the presecretory ameloblast layer to the dental pulp. The presence of coated pits at the plasma membrane of odontoblasts in close proximity to enamel protein along with the immunolabelling of lysosomes of the odontoblasts suggests the phagocytosis of the enamel protein into the odontoblasts. These observations suggest the possibility that the penetration of enamel protein toward the dental pulp and odontoblasts plays a role in the interaction between ameloblasts and odontoblasts.
All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes
- Agricultural and Biological Sciences (miscellaneous)