Moiseiwitsch,J.R.D., and, Lauder,J.M.
Stimulation of murine tooth development in organotypic culture by the neurotransmitter serotonin.
Archives of Oral Biology 41(2):161-165 (1996).
Serotonin (5-hydroxytryptamine; 5-HT) uptake sites are transiently expressed in craniofacial epithelia and mesenchyme, including the tooth germ, during mouse embryogenesis. Based on malformations and patterns of cell proliferation and death in cultured mouse embryos exposed to 5-HT uptake inhibitors, it has been hypothesized that 5-HT acts as a dose-dependent morphogenetic signal for craniofacial development. The present study was designed to investigate the effect of 5-HT on tooth- germ formation in serum-free mandibular explant cultures prepared from embryonic day-13 (plug day = embryonic day- 1) mouse embryos. In the absence of serum or a 5-HT supplement, tooth germs develop only to the bud stage in these cultures. When explants were cultured for 8 days in a defined medium supplemented with 5-HT, late bell-stage tooth germs were stimulated to develop in a dose- dependent manner. This effect was reversed by addition of the 5- HT uptake inhibitor fluoxetine. Anti-5-HT immunocytochemistry demonstrated specific uptake of 5-HT by developing tooth germ and mandibular epithelium, which could also be blocked by fluoxetine. These results suggest that 5-HT may regulate dental differentiation, and that intracellular uptake is required for this action. [References: 15].

Last edited 10.12.2004 by P.N.