Odontoblasts: the cells forming and maintaining dentine

Int J Biochem Cell Biol. 2004 Aug;36(8):1367-73. doi: 10.1016/j.biocel.2004.01.006.


Odontoblasts are tall columnar cells located at the periphery of the dental pulp. They derive from ectomesenchymal cells originated by migration of neural crest cells during the early craniofacial development. Odontoblasts form the dentine, a collagen-based mineralized tissue, through secretion of its collagenous and noncollagenous organic matrix components and by control the mineralization process. A conspicuous cell process arises from the cell body of odontoblasts and penetrates into the mineralized dentine. After dentinogenesis, odontoblasts deposit new layers of dentine throughout life and might also form a type of reactionary/reparative dentine in response to dental caries and other external factors may affect teeth.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't
  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Dentin / cytology
  • Dentin / ultrastructure
  • Dentinogenesis
  • Humans
  • Microscopy, Electron
  • Odontoblasts / cytology*
  • Odontoblasts / physiology
  • Odontoblasts / ultrastructure