The periodontal ligament (PDL) plays important roles in connecting teeth to the jaw, sensing occlusal force, and providing shock absorption. Poor oral hygiene ultimately results in periodontitis, an inflammatory disease of the periodontal tissue, leading to loss of the PDL and teeth.
Despite extensive studies on regenerative therapies for the periodontal tissue, regeneration of the PDL is still challenging. In particular, it has been difficult to verify that the property of the regenerated PDL is comparable to that of the normal PDL; there has been no reliable indicator that can assess functional regeneration of the PDL.
Dr. Yuske Komiyama (Project clinical fellow, The University of Tokyo Hospital Intensive Care Unit), Project Associate Professor Shinsuke Ohba (Department of Bioengineering, The University of Tokyo), and Professor Ung-il Chung (Department of Bioengineering, The University of Tokyo), collaborating with Drs. Denitsa Docheva (Lutwig-Maximillians University), Chisa Shukunami (Associate Professor, Kyoto University), and Yuji Hiraki (Professor, Kyoto University), found that tenomodulin (Tnmd) expression emerged in conjunction with tooth eruption and it enhanced cellular adhesion to extracellular matrix.
This study sheds light on a novel function of Tnmd, pointing to Tnmd as not only a molecular marker for mature tendons and ligaments, but also a molecule that functionally characterizes the tendon/ligament tissue. Findings in this study will contribute to the understanding of the molecular basis of tendons and ligaments including the PDL, and to developing strategies for regenerating functional tendons and ligaments.
Source: University of Tokyo