1995 年 105 巻 5 号 p. 331-343
In this study, we introduce a cultivation method for mandibular first molars from mouse embryos. We also investigate the in vitro effects of several drugs on tooth formation. Histological observations demonstrated that the tooth germ dissected from 17-day-old embryonic mice and cultivated for 7 days under the conditions described here showed clear mineralization in the dentin and enamel. Alkaline phosphatase (ALP) activity and calcium content in the tooth germ increased developmentally during 7-day cultivation. The increase of calcium was preceded by that of ALP in the germ. The removal of ALP attached covalently to the external surface of plasma membranes by phosphatidylinositol specific phospholipase C disturbed in vitro mineralization in the tooth germ, suggesting that ALP functioning as an ectoenzyme is involved in the physiological process of tooth formation. To elucidate the effects of calcium regulating hormones and several drugs on tooth mineralization, ALP and calcium content were measured and also the tooth germ was observed histologically. The results obtained from the present study suggest that this in vitro system provides a useful tool for investigating both the direct action of drugs on tooth formation and the mechanisms of drug action.