In teeth sequential and reciprocal interactions between epithelium and ectomesenchyme play a pivotal role in their development. A progress has been made in identifying various key transcription factors and signalling molecules participating in epithelial–mesenchymal signalling, involving different pleiotropic morphogens, such as bone morphogenetic proteins, fibroblast growth factors, hedgehog and Wnt proteins as well, which are responsible for patterning, morphogenesis and differentiation. There is a growing interest in different stem cell niches located in tooth germs and how they provide cues for the maintenance, proliferation and differentiation of dental cells. The rodent incisor has a unique property: it exhibits asymmetric growth and enamel distribution due to the presence of discrete stem cell compartments at the apical part. The main research goal is to identify different key signalling molecules that regulate stem cell proliferation in the rodent incisor epithelial stem cell niche. As a former MC EIF fellow, I learned the details of in situ hybridization, tissue culture plus bead implantation assays, cell proliferation analyzes combined with different imaging techniques, digital densitometry, therefore we are planning to analyze mouse tooth development using all of these techniques to elucidate how the spatial and temporal expression pattern of these signalling molecules affects epithelial stem cell nice of incisor development. Additionally our aim is to characterize the stem cells molecularly and to develop methods for their isolation. We hope that our findings will have significant implications for organ regeneration and should prove of great interest to scientists in the fields of biology, medicine. The long-lasting benefit of my ERG is to adaptate these molecular morphological techniques at my host institution. The instrumental and scientific background is avaiable at host available, therefore it is possible to properly carry out the studies proposed.
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