Recruitment of immunocompetent cells after dentinal injuries in innervated and denervated young rat molars: an immunohistochemical study

J Histochem Cytochem. 1995 Sep;43(9):871-9. doi: 10.1177/43.9.7543913.


The dental pulp represents a peripheral end-organ deprived of a collateral nerve supply. After inferior alveolar nerve (IAN) axotomy, rat molar pulp is denervated over a period of at least 6 days. Therefore, rat molar pulp was used as an experimental model to study the effect of sensory nerve fibers on influx of immunocompetent cells after dentinal injury. In the present study we performed a quantitative analysis of CD43+, CD4+, CD11b+, and I-A antigen-expressing cells subjacent to dentinal cavities in denervated and innervated first mandibular molars. For visualization of nerve fibers, antibodies to protein gene product (PGP) 9.5, the sensory neuropeptides substance P (SP) and calcitonin gene-related peptide (CGRP), and the sympathetic neuropeptide Y (NPY) were used. Immunohistochemistry was performed by the avidin-biotin-peroxidase method. In the innervated teeth, a correlation between increased sensory nerve density and influx of immunocompetent cells was found. Compared to the contralateral innervated molars, a significant reduction in recruitment of immunocompetent cells was found in the denervated pulp tissue subjacent to the dentinal cavities. The rat molar represents a unique model to illustrate the influence of sensory nerves and neuropeptides on inflammation and recruitment of immunocompetent cells.

Publication types

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

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Antibodies
  • Antigen-Presenting Cells / cytology
  • Antigen-Presenting Cells / immunology*
  • Antigens, CD*
  • Biomarkers / analysis
  • CD11 Antigens / analysis
  • CD4 Antigens / analysis
  • Calcitonin Gene-Related Peptide / analysis
  • Denervation*
  • Dental Pulp / cytology
  • Dental Pulp / immunology*
  • Dental Pulp / innervation*
  • Female
  • Histocompatibility Antigens Class II / analysis
  • Humans
  • Leukosialin
  • Mandibular Nerve / physiology
  • Microscopy, Immunoelectron
  • Molar / cytology
  • Molar / immunology*
  • Molar / innervation*
  • Nerve Fibers / ultrastructure
  • Nerve Tissue Proteins / analysis
  • Neurons, Afferent / cytology
  • Neurons, Afferent / physiology
  • Neuropeptide Y / analysis
  • Rats
  • Rats, Wistar
  • Reference Values
  • Sialoglycoproteins / analysis
  • Substance P / analysis
  • Thiolester Hydrolases / analysis
  • Ubiquitin Thiolesterase


  • Antibodies
  • Antigens, CD
  • Biomarkers
  • CD11 Antigens
  • CD4 Antigens
  • Histocompatibility Antigens Class II
  • Leukosialin
  • Nerve Tissue Proteins
  • Neuropeptide Y
  • Sialoglycoproteins
  • Spn protein, rat
  • UN1 sialoglycoprotein, human
  • Substance P
  • Thiolester Hydrolases
  • Ubiquitin Thiolesterase
  • Calcitonin Gene-Related Peptide