Background: Tooth development is highly regulated in mammals and it is regulated by networks of signaling pathways (e. g. Tnf, Wnt, Shh, Fgf and Bmp) whose activities are controlled by the balance between ligands, activators, inhibitors and receptors. The members of the R-spondin family are known as activators of Wnt signaling, and Lgr4, Lgr5, and Lgr6 have been identified as receptors for R-spondins. The role of R-spondin/Lgr signaling in tooth development, however, remains unclear.
Results: We first carried out comparative in situ hybridization analysis of R-spondins and Lgrs, and identified their dynamic spatio-temporal expression in murine odontogenesis. R-spondin2 expression was found both in tooth germs and the tooth-less region, the diastema. We further examined tooth development in R-spondin2 mutant mice, and although molars and incisors exhibited no significant abnormalities, supernumerary teeth were observed in the diastema.
Conclusions: R-spondin/Lgr signaling is thus involved in tooth development.
Keywords: Lgrs; R-spondins; diastema; tooth development.
© 2014 Wiley Periodicals, Inc.