In epithelia, claudin proteins are important components of the tight junctions as they determine the permeability and specificity to ions of the paracellular pathway. Mutations in CLDN10 cause the rare autosomal recessive HELIX syndrome (Hypohidrosis, Electrolyte imbalance, Lacrimal gland dysfunction, Ichthyosis, and Xerostomia), in which patients display severe enamel wear. Here, we assess whether this enamel wear is caused by an innate fragility directly related to claudin-10 deficiency in addition to xerostomia. A third molar collected from a female HELIX patient was analyzed by a combination of microanatomical and physicochemical approaches (i.e., electron microscopy, elemental mapping, Raman microspectroscopy, and synchrotron-based X-ray fluorescence). The enamel morphology, formation time, organization, and microstructure appeared to be within the natural variability. However, we identified accentuated strontium variations within the HELIX enamel, with alternating enrichments and depletions following the direction of the periodical striae of Retzius. These markings were also present in dentin. These data suggest that the enamel wear associated with HELIX may not be related to a disruption of enamel microstructure but rather to xerostomia. However, the occurrence of events of strontium variations within dental tissues might indicate repeated episodes of worsening of the renal dysfunction that may require further investigations.
Keywords: apatite; claudins; enamel; renal dysfunction; tight junctions; xerostomia.
© 2022 The Authors. Annals of the New York Academy of Sciences published by Wiley Periodicals LLC on behalf of New York Academy of Sciences.