Induction and regulation of crown dentinogenesis: Embryonic events as a template for dental tissue repair?

Anthony Smith, H Lesot

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

195 Citations (Scopus)


Close regulation of odontoblast differentiation and subsequent secretory activity is critical for dentinogenesis during both embryogenesis and tissue repair. Some dental papilla cells achieve commitment and specific competence, allowing them to respond to epitholially derived inductive signals during the process of odontoblast differentiation. Temporo-spatial regulation of odontoblast differentiation is dependent on matrix-mediated interactions involving the basement membrane (BM). Experimental studies have highlighted the possible roles of growth factors in these processes. Regulation of functional activity of odontoblasts allows for both ordered secretion of the primary dentin matrix and maintenance of vitality and down-regulation of secretory activity throughout secondary dentinogenesis. After injury to the mature tooth, the fate of the odontoblast can vary according to the intensity of the injury. Milder injury can result in up-regulation of functional activity leading to focal secretion of a reactionary dentin matrix, while greater injury can lead to odontoblast cell death. Induction of differentiation of a new generation of odontoblast-like cells can then lead to reparative dentinogenesis. Many similarities exist between development and repair, including matrix-mediation of the cellular processes and the apparent involvement of growth factors as signaling molecules despite the absence of epithelium during repair. While some of the molecular mediators appear to be common to these processes, the close regulation of primary dentinogenesis may be less ordered during tertiary dentinogenic responses.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)425-437
Number of pages13
JournalCritical Reviews in Oral Biology & Medicine
Issue number5
Publication statusPublished - 1 Jan 2001


  • tissue repair
  • development
  • dentinogenesis
  • regulation
  • cell-matrix interactions


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