Int J Oral Biol.  2010 Dec;35(4):169-175.

Cholinesterase Activity in the Dental Epithelium of Hamsters During Tooth Development

  • 1Department of Dental Hygiene, Hyechon University, Daejeon 302-715, Korea.
  • 2Laboratory for Craniofacial Biology, Institute of Oral Biosciences and BK 21 Program, Chonbuk National University School of Dentistry, Jeonju 561-756, Korea.


Cholinesterase (ChE) is one of the most ubiquitous enzymes and in addition to its well characterized catalytic function, the morphogenetic involvement of ChE has also been demonstrated in neuronal tissues and in non-neuronal tissues such as bone and cartilage. We have previously reported that during mouse tooth development, acetylcholinesterase (AChE) activity is dynamically localized in the dental epithelium and its derivatives whereas butyrylcholinesterase (BuChE) activity is localized in the dental follicles. To test the functional conservation of ChE in tooth morphogenesis among different species, we performed cholinesterase histochemistry following the use of specific inhibitors of developing molar and incisors in the hamster from embryonic day 11 (E11) to postnatal day 1 (P1). In the developing molar in hamster, the localization of ChE activity was found to be very similar to that of the mouse. At the bud stage, no ChE activity was found in the tooth buds, but was first detectable in the dental epithelium and dental follicles at the cap and bell stages. AChE activity was found to be principally localized in the dental epithelium whereas BuChE activity was observed in the dental follicle. In contrast to the ChE activity in the molars, BuChE activity was specifically observed in the secretory ameloblasts of the incisors, whilst no AChE activity was found in the dental epithelium of incisors. The subtype and localization of ChE activity in the dental epithelium of the incisor thus differed from those of the molar in hamster. In addition, these patterns also differed from the ChE activity in the mouse incisor. These results strongly suggest that ChE may play roles in the differentiation of the dental epithelium and dental follicle in hamster, and that morphogenetic subtypes of ChE may be variable among species and tooth types.


cholinesterase; tooth germ; dental epithelium; hamster
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