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Development and fine structure of pharyngeal replacement teeth in juvenile zebrafish (Danio rerio) (Teleostei, Cyprinidae)

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Teeth are commonly used model systems for the study of epithelial-mesenchymal interactions during organogenesis. We describe here the ultrastructural characteristics of developing pharyngeal replacement teeth in juvenile zebrafish, an increasingly important model organism for vertebrate development. Replacement teeth develop in close association with the dental organ of a functional tooth. Morphogenesis is well advanced prior to the start of cytodifferentiation. Fibrillar enameloid matrix is formed first, followed by the deposition of predentine. Initial mineralization of the enameloid proceeds quickly; maturation involves the presence of ruffled-bordered ameloblasts. Dentine mineralization is inotropic and is mediated by matrix vesicles. Woven-fibred attachment bone matrix is deposited before completion of dentine mineralization. Eruption of fully ankylosed teeth is a fast process and may involve degenerative changes in the pharyngeal epithelium. Mononucleated osteoclasts and clastic cells located in the pulp cavity intervene in tooth resorption prior to shedding. Structural differences with larval, first-generation zebrafish teeth include the presence of dentinal tubules and the absence of an electron-dense covering membrane. Part of these differences may relate to size differences of the teeth. Others, like the site of the replacement tooth bud, suggest that initiation may take place in already committed epithelium from the first initiation event in the larval stage.

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Van der heyden, C., Huysseune, A. & Sire, J. Development and fine structure of pharyngeal replacement teeth in juvenile zebrafish (Danio rerio) (Teleostei, Cyprinidae). Cell Tissue Res 302, 205–219 (2000). https://doi.org/10.1007/s004410000180

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  • Dentition Tooth development Transmission electron microscopy Zebrafish, Danio rerio (Teleostei)