In the trials, scientists suppressed the USAG-1 gene in an antibody treatment. After the procedure, the missing tooth grew normally.
The antibodies developed were monoclonal, used to treat some types of cancers and in the development of vaccines, and given to animals in a single dose – enough for the regeneration process.
According to the researchers, the discovery could be a promising method in relation to implants and dentures. That’s because ferrets, according to the group tested, have a tooth structure that resembles that of humans. The next step is to carry out the tests on pigs and dogs.
“Ferrets are difiodont animals with dental patterns similar to humans. Our next plan is to test antibodies on other animals, such as pigs and dogs,” explains Katsu Takahashi, one of the study’s authors and a senior professor at Kyoto University School of Medicine. . Dipodont animals are those that have two dentitions over the course of their lives, like most mammals.
The team looked at the molecules in the human body involved in tooth growth and had difficulty identifying which one would be suppressed, since a good part is also associated with the development of organs and tissues. The choice for the USAG-1 gene seemed the most correct. “We knew that suppressing USAG-1 benefits tooth growth. What we didn’t know was whether that would be enough,” says Takahashi.
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