3D cellular visualization of intact mouse tooth using optical clearing without decalcification

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Dental pulp is composed of nerves, blood vessels, and various types of cells and surrounded by a thick and hard enamel-dentin matrix. Due to its importance in the maintenance of tooth vitality, there have been intensive efforts to analyze the complex cellular-level organization of the dental pulp in teeth. Although conventional histologic analysis has provided microscopic images of the dental pulp, 3-dimensional (3D) cellular-level visualization of the whole dental pulp in an intact tooth has remained a technically challenging task. This is mainly due to the inevitable disruption and loss of microscopic structural features during the process of mechanical sectioning required for the preparation of the tooth sample for histological observation. To accomplish 3D microscopic observation of thick intact tissue, various optical clearing techniques have been developed mostly for soft tissue, and their application for hard tissues such as bone and teeth has only recently started to be investigated. In this work, we established a simple and rapid optical clearing technique for intact mouse teeth without the time-consuming process of decalcification. We achieved 3D cellular-level visualization of the microvasculature and various immune cell distributions in the whole dental pulp of mouse teeth under normal and pathologic conditions. This technique could be used to enable diverse research methods on tooth development and regeneration by providing 3D visualization of various pulpal cells in intact mouse teeth.
Publisher
NATURE PUBLISHING GROUP
Issue Date
2019-08
Language
English
Article Type
Article
Citation

INTERNATIONAL JOURNAL OF ORAL SCIENCE, v.11

ISSN
1674-2818
DOI
10.1038/s41368-019-0056-z
URI
http://hdl.handle.net/10203/267532
Appears in Collection
NT-Journal Papers(저널논문)
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