Emerging regenerative strategies are promising to cure the irreversible damages to dental tissues, but the success of these strategies is constrained by the lack of insight on the molecular cues of regeneration, while recent advancements on the molecular controls of development of dental tissues provided valuable clues for identifying potential regenerative cues. Wnt/β-catenin signaling pathway is highly conserved in animals and regulates the differentiation, proliferation, death and function of many cell and tissue types. This pathway is essential for morphogenesis and homeostasis of multiple oral organs, including teeth, taste buds, salivary glands and oral mucosa. Following injury, this pathway is activated in salivary glands and teeth, which contributes to repair or regeneration of damaged tissues. Consistently, activation of the Wnt/β-catenin signaling pathway in mice prevents radiation-induced damages or promotes regeneration of these dental tissues. In this review we discuss our current understanding and potential application of Wnt/β-catenin signaling in dental regeneration.
Financed by the National Centre for Research and Development under grant No. SP/I/1/77065/10 by the strategic scientific research and experimental development program:
SYNAT - “Interdisciplinary System for Interactive Scientific and Scientific-Technical Information”.