Dental defects in the primary dentition associated with hypophosphatasia from biallelic ALPL mutations. Academic Article uri icon


  • ALPL encodes tissue-nonspecific alkaline phosphatase (TNAP), an enzyme expressed in bone, teeth, liver, and kidney. ALPL loss-of-function mutations cause hypophosphatasia (HPP), an inborn error-of-metabolism that produces skeletal and dental mineralization defects. Case reports describe widely varying dental phenotypes, making it unclear how HPP comparatively affects the three unique dental mineralized tissues: enamel, dentin, and cementum. We hypothesized that HPP affected all dental mineralized tissues and aimed to establish quantitative measurements of dental tissues in a subject with HPP. The female proband was diagnosed with HPP during childhood based on reduced alkaline phosphatase activity (ALP), mild rachitic skeletal effects, and premature primary tooth loss. The diagnosis was subsequently confirmed genetically by the presence of compound heterozygous ALPL mutations (exon 5: c.346G>A, p.A116T; exon 10: c.1077C>G, p.I359M). Dental defects in 8 prematurely exfoliated primary teeth were analyzed by high resolution micro-computed tomography (micro-CT) and histology. Similarities to the Alpl-/- mouse model of HPP were identified by additional analyses of murine dentoalveolar tissues. Primary teeth from the proband exhibited substantial remaining root structure compared to healthy control teeth. Enamel and dentin densities were not adversely affected in HPP vs. control teeth. However, analysis of discrete dentin regions revealed an approximate 10% reduction in the density of outer mantle dentin of HPP vs. control teeth. All 4 incisors and the molar lacked acellular cementum by micro-CT and histology, but surprisingly, 2 of 3 prematurely exfoliated canines exhibited apparently normal acellular cementum. Based on dentin findings in the proband's teeth, we examined dentoalveolar tissues in a mouse model of HPP, revealing that the delayed initiation of mineralization in the incisor mantle dentin was associated with a broader lack of circumpulpal dentin mineralization. This study describes a quantitative approach to measure effects of HPP on dental tissues. This approach has uncovered a previously unrecognized novel mantle dentin defect in HPP, as well as a surprising and variable cementum phenotype within the teeth from the same HPP subject.

published proceedings

  • Bone

altmetric score

  • 1.5

author list (cited authors)

  • Kramer, K., Chavez, M. B., Tran, A. T., Farah, F., Tan, M. H., Kolli, T. N., ... Foster, B. L.

citation count

  • 9

complete list of authors

  • Kramer, K||Chavez, MB||Tran, AT||Farah, F||Tan, MH||Kolli, TN||Dos Santos, EJ Lira||Wimer, HF||Mill├ín, JL||Suva, LJ||Gaddy, D||Foster, BL

publication date

  • February 2021

published in