Grant: $13,502 - National Institutes of Health - May. 29, 2009
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Award Description: The overall goal of this project was employ two student workers and have them contribute to the success of our parent grant related to ameloblastin function. Much of the resilient properties of the periodontium are facilitated by a non-mineralized periodontal ligament (PDL) that connects the root surface with the alveolar bone. Recent studies from our laboratory have suggested that ameloblastin (AMBN) was 300-fold upregulated during periodontal remodeling (Holliday et al. 2005, Luan et al. 2007). In addition, we have localized AMBN in Hertwig’s Epithelial Root Sheath (HERS) and revealed an inhibitory effect of AMBN on PDL mineralization and crystal formation in solution and gels. Our K14 promoter-driven, AMBN overexpressing transgenic mouse model featured a robust periodontal phenotype with changes in root cementum surface structure, cervical alveolar bone height, periodontal ligament width, and altered enamel structure compared to wild-type controls. Our findings underscore clinical studies that have shown a positive effect of enamel matrix derivatives (EMD) on the prevention of ankylosis and by ameloblastin and amelogenin gene knockout models displaying evidence of PDL hypercalcification. Together, these studies provide the basis for a research plan in which we will address the question whether AMBN is a unique HERS product involved in periodontal development and mineral homeostasis. The outcome of the study will provide novel clinical aids to the benefit of Millions of Americans suffering from periodontal disease. The proposed studies are designed to accelerate the studies on the function of AMBN in the periodontium by the participation of summer students in the characterization of AMBN animal models and a comparative approach of periodontal evolution.
Project Description: Transgenic animal models including gene targeting and overexpressing mouse models are the major tool for us to study the function of AMBN in the periodontal development. Through the aid of the summer students, we have systematically characterized the periodontal phenotypes of AMBN transgenic mice. The comparative studies among wild type, AMBN knockout and AMBN over-expressing mice revealed that AMBN function modulation affected alveolar bone height, PDL width, osteoclast activity, and mineralization status in the periodontal ligament. These results are consistent with our hypothesis that AMBN as a HERS or ERM product plays a role in the development of the periodontium.
Jobs Summary: We have recruited two college students for this project. One of these students has been working as a volunteer in our laboratory since the beginning of this semester, and the other came from the University of New York at Rochester. This Recovery Act funding opportunity opened a unique chance for these students and provided them with a financial foundation to perform hands-on scientific studies in our laboratory. During the first quarter, the students joined our laboratory staff and learned about experimental procedures, sample collection, and tissue processing. Both students played a primary role in genotyping, tissue collection, processing samples, and molecular analysis. They have also learned various techniques such as histochemistry, immunostaining, RT-PCR, and Western blot analysis. By the end of the summer program, each of them was able to work independently on their respective projects. All students participated in all laboratory activities. This included weekly lab meetings, journal clubs, college and relevant university seminars, and meetings with the PI on a weekly basis. They have been trained to collate and enter their own data into an SPSS database and run rudimentary statistical analyses. They used imaging software to process their images and Powerpoint to make their own presentations. They attended a weekly student research forum and presented their research projects at those meetings. After the summer training, the students have gained an appreciation for research and chosen oral health as their career. Now, one of the students continues to participate in research activities the laboratory. (Total jobs reported: 2)
Project Status: More than 50% Completed
This award's data was last updated on May. 29, 2009. Help expand these official descriptions using the wiki below.