2005 Pulp Biology Research Award

03/02/05

Baltimore, Maryland...Dr. Henry Magloire, from the Université Claude Bernard, Faculty of Odontology at Lyon (France), has been selected the 2005 recipient of the Pulp Biology Research Award from the International Association for Dental Research (IADR), convening here today for its 83rd General Session.

Professor Magloire has contributed several seminal findings in the field of odontoblast biology. He has characterized the replacement population of odontoblasts involved in the formation of reparative dentin and developed a novel culture system to study the responses of these cells to various growth factors in vitro. More recently, he has described profiles of gene expression in odontoblasts using two original culture systems from pulp tissue and thick slices of human teeth. These in vitro studies allowed him to show the role of TGFβ during dentin repair and, particularly, the target molecules such as a new "dental" proteoglycan: osteoadherin (SLRP). His group was the first to identify the presence of integrins (αVβ3) in odontoblast membranes. His group again, through a subtractive cDNA bank between odontoblasts and pulpal cells, succeeded in cloning new genes (Smile and Hugo) involved in odontoblast differentiation. In addition to these new genes, he detected, for the first time, neuronal guidance/adhesion molecules (reelin, semaphorin 7), expressed by odontoblasts, whose role is under analysis (control of the relationship nerve/odontoblast). He kept in mind that odontoblasts could have a putative role in the transduction of signals during dentin sensitivity, and he was the first researcher identifying and characterizing the mechanosensitivity of potassium ion channels of human odontoblasts (KCa and TREK-1). These channels, open by stretch of the cell membrane, could be involved in the transfer of information between odontoblasts (through the dentin fluid) and the surrounding pulp tissue. Recently, he showed the expression of sodium ion channels of the neural form (Nav1.2) in odontoblasts and particularly the putative role of the beta 2 chain as a cell adhesion molecule for nerve fibers closely linked to odontoblast cell membranes. Finally, revisiting the odontoblast morphology, he described the presence of a primary cilium in odontoblasts, leading to hypothesize that this structure could be involved in signal transduction. He is now investigating the expression and characterization of ion channels possibly involved in these processes.

When viewed together, the long-standing contributions of Professor Magloire have increased our understanding about the phenotypic characteristics of odontoblasts. His research has advanced the field of Pulp Biology.

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