Axin2+-Mesenchymal PDL Cells, Instead of K14+ Epithelial Cells, Play a Key Role in Rapid Cementum Growth. Academic Article uri icon


  • To date, attempts to regenerate functional periodontal tissues (including cementum) are largely unsuccessful due to a lack of full understanding about the cellular origin (epithelial or mesenchymal cells) essential for root cementum growth. To address this issue, we first identified a rapid cementum growth window from the ages of postnatal day 28 (P28) to P56. Next, we showed that expression patterns of Axin2 and -catenin within cementum-forming periodontal ligament (PDL) cells are negatively associated with rapid cementum growth. Furthermore, cell lineage tracing studies revealed that the Axin2+-mesenchymal PDL cells and their progeny rapidly expand and directly contribute to postnatal acellular and cellular cementum growth. In contrast, the number of K14+ epithelial cells, which were initially active at early stages of development, was reduced during rapid cementum formation from P28 to P56. The in vivo cell ablation of these Axin2+ cells using Axin2CreERT2/+; R26RDTA/+ mice led to severe cementum hypoplasia, whereas constitutive activation of -catenin in the Axin2+ cells resulted in an acceleration in cellular cementogenesis plus a transition from acellular cementum to cellular cementum. Thus, we conclude that Axin2+-mesenchymal PDL cells, instead of K14+ epithelial cells, significantly contribute to rapid cementum growth.

published proceedings

  • J Dent Res

author list (cited authors)

  • Xie, X., Wang, J., Wang, K., Li, C., Zhang, S., Jing, D., ... Feng, J. Q.

citation count

  • 33

complete list of authors

  • Xie, X||Wang, J||Wang, K||Li, C||Zhang, S||Jing, D||Xu, C||Wang, X||Zhao, H||Feng, JQ

publication date

  • October 2019