Evaluation of the role of odontoblasts in dental pain

    Student thesis: Doctoral ThesisDoctor of Philosophy


    Dental pain is a very common ailment affecting a large percentage of people and its mechanisms are not well understood, thus impairing the development of new therapies. The current paradigm of dental pain is that thermal or osmotic changes around a tooth produce movements within the dentine fluid, which are detected through mechanoreceptors on dental sensory neurons. However, initial studies have identified tentative links between TRP channels and dental pain, suggesting that TRP channels in dental nociceptive neurons may be directly activated by temperature changes and contribute to sensitivity to hot or cold foods. Certain structural and biochemical properties of odontoblasts suggest that they may also play a role in pain sensation. The aim of this project was to investigate the expression of pain-related ion channels (TRP channels) in human pulp cells (odontoblasts). Dental pulp cells were isolated and cultured in conditioned medium to allow for differentiation following which they were characterized by demonstrating the expression of odontoblast phenotypic markers. This cell culture model was optimized and a viable immortalised cell line established, and then used to determine the responsiveness of these odontoblast-like cells to TRP channel agonists and antagonists following the identification of their expression. The data obtained from this study will serve as a template for the better understanding of the function of TRP channels in human odontoblasts.
    Date of Award1 Feb 2013
    Original languageEnglish
    Awarding Institution
    • King's College London
    SupervisorLucy Di-Silvio (Supervisor), Andrew Grant (Supervisor) & Tara Renton (Supervisor)

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