Fibroblast growth factor signaling is essential for self-renewal of dental epithelial stem cells. Academic Article uri icon


  • A constant supply of epithelial cells from dental epithelial stem cell (DESC) niches in the cervical loop (CL) enables mouse incisors to grow continuously throughout life. Elucidation of the cellular and molecular mechanisms underlying this unlimited growth potential is of broad interest for tooth regenerative therapies. Fibroblast growth factor (FGF) signaling is essential for the development of mouse incisors and for maintenance of the CL during prenatal development. However, how FGF signaling in DESCs controls the self-renewal and differentiation of the cells is not well understood. Herein, we report that FGF signaling is essential for self-renewal and the prevention of cell differentiation of DESCs in the CL as well as in DESC spheres. Inhibiting the FGF signaling pathway decreased proliferation and increased apoptosis of the cells in DESC spheres. Suppressing FGFR or its downstream signal transduction pathways diminished Lgr5-expressing cells in the CL and promoted cell differentiation both in DESC spheres and the CL. Furthermore, disruption of the FGF pathway abrogated Wnt signaling to promote Lgr5 expression in DESCs both in vitro and in vivo. This study sheds new light on understanding the mechanism by which the homeostasis, expansion, and differentiation of DESCs are regulated.

published proceedings

  • J Biol Chem

altmetric score

  • 3.5

author list (cited authors)

  • Chang, J., Wang, C., Liu, J., Huang, Y., Jin, C., Yang, C., ... Wang, F.

citation count

  • 18

complete list of authors

  • Chang, Julia Yu Fong||Wang, Cong||Liu, Junchen||Huang, Yanqing||Jin, Chengliu||Yang, Chaofeng||Hai, Bo||Liu, Fei||D'Souza, Rena N||McKeehan, Wallace L||Wang, Fen

publication date

  • October 2013