A Mesenchymal Stem Cell (MSC) Niche in Mouse Incisor

Student thesis: Doctoral ThesisDoctor of Philosophy


Mesenchymal stem cells (MSCs) are heterogeneous cell populations that are identified by their in vitro characteristics while their biological properties and in vivo identities are often less understood. Different from human teeth, mouse incisors grow and erupt continuously throughout their lives and compensate for daily abrasions with the existence of stem cells. However, the precise location of the mesenchymal stem cells (MSCs) in the incisor is unclear. Generally, the MSCs in the mouse incisor are believed to be located in the mesenchyme close to the epithelium cervical loops, since the growth and differentiation of the incisor always initiates at the apical end and extends towards the incisal end.
The utilization of label-retaining experiments and transgenic reporter mouse lines has enabled further understanding of the less established identities and properties of dental pulp stem cells in vivo. The work described in this thesis demonstrates that the mesenchymal stem cell niche located at the apical end of mouse incisor contains three distinct but connected cell populations: 1) a slow cycling cell population containing Thy-1+ cells essential for tooth dental pulp and odontoblast formation 2) a Ring1/Bcor-associated fast cycling cell population crucial for maintaining tissue growth and homeostasis of epithelium stem cells in labial cervical loop 3) a quiescent long-term cell population marked by Flamingo homologue Celsr1 might respond to generate new stem cells when the stem cells become depleted.
Date of Award2016
Original languageEnglish
Awarding Institution
  • King's College London
SupervisorPaul Sharpe (Supervisor), Andrea Mantesso (Supervisor) & Agamemnon Grigoriadis (Supervisor)

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