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Researchers Suggest Gene-Based Therapy May Help Regenerate Teeth

As adults live longer, demand for dental implants continues to grow.

MANJURUL/ISTOCK/GETTY IMAGES PLUSAs adults live longer, demand for dental implants continues to grow. However, researchers at Kyoto University and the University of Fuki in Japan may be closer to finding a way to help adults continue to function with natural dentition. Based on an animal model, their study, “Anti-USAG-1 Therapy for Tooth Regeneration Through Enhanced BMP Signaling,” has shown how suppressing the uterine sensitization associated gene-1 (USAG-1) by using its antibody can help regrow teeth. The team’s findings, published in Science Advances, suggest anti-USAG-1 antibody administration may be a viable approach to regenerate teeth.

According to the University of Fuki, scientists investigated the effects of monoclonal antibodies for USAG-1. Investigators focused on the USAG-1 gene that interacts with the two mechanisms responsible for tooth development—bone morphogenetic protein (BMP) and Wnt signaling. They found administering USAG-1-neutralizing antibodies affects BMP signaling only. The authors report a single administration was enough to generate a whole tooth in mice and, in subsequent experiments, ferrets as well.

From Dimensions of Dental Hygiene. June 2021;19(6):10.

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