The epithelium-tooth interface--a basal lamina rich in laminin-5 and lacking other known laminin isoforms

J Dent Res. 1998 Jul;77(7):1479-85. doi: 10.1177/00220345980770070201.


The attachment of the marginal gingiva to the tooth surface is mediated by a thin nonkeratinized epithelium termed the junctional epithelium (JE). Ultrastructural studies have revealed that the attachment of the JE to the tooth surface occurs through hemidesmosomes (HD) and a basal lamina-like extracellular matrix termed the internal basal lamina (IBL). We have previously shown that neither type IV collagen nor prototypic laminin, two common components of basement membranes (BM), is present in the IBL between the epithelium and the tooth. In the present study, we show that laminin-5 is a major component of the IBL in both rodent and human tissues. By using in situ hybridization, we also show that the cells of the JE express the LAMC2 gene of laminin-5. In other parts of gingival epithelium, LAMC2 gene expression is less prominent. Our results indicate that the epithelium-tooth interface is a unique structure wherein epithelial cells are induced to secrete a basal lamina containing laminin-5 and no other presently known laminin isoform.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Basement Membrane / metabolism
  • Basement Membrane / ultrastructure*
  • Cell Adhesion
  • Cell Adhesion Molecules / analysis*
  • Cell Adhesion Molecules / genetics
  • Desmosomes / metabolism
  • Desmosomes / ultrastructure
  • Epithelial Attachment / metabolism
  • Epithelial Attachment / ultrastructure*
  • Epithelial Cells / metabolism
  • Epithelial Cells / ultrastructure
  • Extracellular Matrix / metabolism
  • Extracellular Matrix / ultrastructure
  • Fluorescent Antibody Technique, Direct
  • Gene Expression Regulation
  • Gingiva / metabolism
  • Gingiva / ultrastructure
  • Humans
  • Immunoenzyme Techniques
  • In Situ Hybridization
  • Mice
  • Mice, Inbred Strains
  • Microscopy, Fluorescence
  • Rats
  • Rats, Wistar
  • Tooth / ultrastructure*


  • Cell Adhesion Molecules
  • kalinin