Altered collagen expression in human dentin: increased reactivity of type III and presence of type VI in dentinogenesis imperfecta, as revealed by immunoelectron microscopy

J Histochem Cytochem. 1994 Dec;42(12):1593-601. doi: 10.1177/42.12.7983359.


We used transmission immunoelectron microscopy and polyclonal antibodies to study the reactivities of Types III and VI collagen in dentin of normal human permanent and primary teeth and in primary teeth from five patients with dentinogenesis imperfecta (DI) associated with osteogenesis imperfecta and occurring as a single trait. In the normal permanent tooth, reactivity of Type III collagen was occasional and, where present, peritubular. Staining of normal primary teeth was less occasional but still rare, whereas the abnormal dentin stained more uniformly. Atypical, non-striated fibrillar structures that also showed Type III collagen reactivity were observed in dentin of two of the three patients with DI as a single trait. Later, these two patients proved to be first cousins. Unlike antibodies to the N-terminal pro-peptide of Type I pro-collagen, antibodies to the C-terminal telopeptide of Type I collagen, used for comparison stained the affected dentin homogeneously. Reactivity of Type VI collagen, not detected in normal teeth, was seen in the dentin of all abnormal teeth, in association with non-fibrillar delicate material. This study also shows that although readily detectable in dentin affected by DI, Type III collagen is a minor constituent of normal human dentin matrix.

Publication types

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

MeSH terms

  • Collagen / analysis*
  • Dentin / chemistry*
  • Dentin / ultrastructure
  • Dentinogenesis Imperfecta / metabolism*
  • Dentinogenesis Imperfecta / pathology
  • Humans
  • Immunohistochemistry
  • Microscopy, Immunoelectron
  • Peptide Fragments / analysis
  • Procollagen / analysis


  • Peptide Fragments
  • Procollagen
  • Collagen