Association between dental pulp stones and calcifying nanoparticles
Jinfeng Zeng1*, Fang Yang1*, Wei Zhang2, Qimei Gong1, Yu Du1, Junqi Ling1
1Department of Operative Dentistry and Endodontics, Guanghua School and Hospital of Stomatology and Institute of Stomatological Research, Sun Yat-sen University, Guangzhou, China; 2National Neuroscience Institute, Singapore *These authors contributed equally to this work
Abstract: The etiology of dental pulp stones, one type of extraskeletal calcification disease, remains elusive to date. Calcifying nanoparticles (CNPs), formerly referred to as nanobacteria, were reported to be one etiological factor in a number of extraskeletal calcification diseases. We hypothesized that CNPs are involved in the calcification of the dental pulp tissue, and therefore investigated the link between CNPs and dental pulp stones. Sixty-five freshly collected dental pulp stones, each from a different patient, were analyzed. Thirteen of the pulp stones were examined for the existence of CNPs in situ by immunohistochemical staining (IHS), indirect immunofluorescence staining (IIFS), and transmission electron microscope (TEM). The remaining 52 pulp stones were used for isolation and cultivation of CNPs; the cultured CNPs were identified and confirmed via their shape and growth characteristics. Among the dental pulp stones examined in situ, 84.6% of the tissue samples staines positive for CNPs antigen by IHS; the corresponding rate by IIFS was 92.3 %. In 88.2% of the cultured samples, CNPs were isolated and cultivated successfully. The CNPs were visible under TEM as 200–400 nm diameter spherical particles surrounded by a compact crust. CNPs could be detected and isolated from a high percentage of dental pulp stones, suggesting that CNPs might play an important role in the calcification of dental pulp.
Keywords: calcifying nanoparticles, nanobacteria, pulp stones
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