Dentin matrix protein 1 and phosphate homeostasis are critical for postnatal pulp, dentin and enamel formation. Academic Article uri icon


  • Deletion or mutation of dentin matrix protein 1 (DMP1) leads to hypophosphatemic rickets and defects within the dentin. However, it is largely unknown if this pathological change is a direct role of DMP1 or an indirect role of phosphate (Pi) or both. It has also been previously shown that Klotho-deficient mice, which displayed a high Pi level due to a failure of Pi excretion, causes mild defects in the dentinal structure. This study was to address the distinct roles of DMP1 and Pi homeostasis in cell differentiation, apoptosis and mineralization of dentin and enamel. Our working hypothesis was that a stable Pi homeostasis is critical for postnatal tooth formation, and that DMP1 has an antiapoptotic role in both amelogenesis and dentinogenesis. To test this hypothesis, Dmp1-null (Dmp1(-/-)), Klotho-deficient (kl/kl), Dmp1/Klotho-double-deficient (Dmp1(-/-)/kl/kl) and wild-type (WT) mice were killed at the age of 6 weeks. Combinations of X-ray, microcomputed tomography (CT), scanning electron microscopy (SEM), histology, apoptosis and immunohistochemical methods were used for characterization of dentin, enamel and pulp structures in these mutant mice. Our results showed that Dmp1(-/-) (a low Pi level) or kl/kl (a high Pi level) mice displayed mild dentin defects such as thin dentin and a reduction of dentin tubules. Neither deficient mouse line exhibited any apparent changes in enamel or pulp structure. However, the double-deficient mice (a high Pi level) displayed severe defects in dentin and enamel structures, including loss of dentinal tubules and enamel prisms, as well as unexpected ectopic ossification within the pulp root canal. TUNEL assay showed a sharp increase in apoptotic cells in ameloblasts and odontoblasts. Based on the above findings, we conclude that DMP1 has a protective role for odontoblasts and ameloblasts in a pro-apoptotic environment (a high Pi level).

published proceedings

  • Int J Oral Sci

author list (cited authors)

  • Rangiani, A., Cao, Z., Liu, Y., Voisey Rodgers, A., Jiang, Y., Qin, C., & Feng, J.

citation count

  • 22

complete list of authors

  • Rangiani, Afsaneh||Cao, Zheng-Guo||Liu, Ying||Voisey Rodgers, Anika||Jiang, Yong||Qin, Chun-Lin||Feng, Jian-Quan

publication date

  • January 2012