2016 年 37 巻 3 号 p. 207-214
The primary cilium, a sensory apparatus, functions as both a chemical and mechanical sensor to receive environmental stimuli. The present study focused on the primary cilia in the epithelialmesenchymal interaction during tooth development. We examined the localization and direction of projection of primary cilia in the tooth germ and oral cavity of mice by immunohistochemical observation. Adenylyl cyclase 3 (ACIII)-immunolabeled cilia were visible in the inner/outer enamel epithelium of molars at the fetal stage and then conspicuously developed in the odontoblast layer postnatally. The primary cilia in ameloblasts and odontoblasts—shown by the double staining of acetylated tubulin and γ-tubulin—were regularly arranged from postnatal Day12, projecting apart from each other. The periodontal ligament possessed ACIII-positive cilia, which gathered on both sides of the dentin/cement and alveolar bone in postnatal days. In the oral cavity, numerous long primary cilia immunoreactive for ACIII were condensed at subepithelial stromal cells in the oral processes in fetuses, while postnatally a small number of short cilia were dispersed throughout the stroma of the oral cavity. These findings suggest that the primary cilia showing stage- and regionspecific morphology are involved in the epithelial-mesenchymal interaction during tooth development via mechano- and/or chemoreception for growth factors.