The Impact of the Eda Pathway on Tooth Root Development

J M Fons Romero, H Star, R Lav, S Watkins, M Harrison, M Hovorakova, D Headon, A S Tucker

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

Abstract / Description of output

The Eda pathway ( Eda, Edar, Edaradd) plays an important role in tooth development, determining tooth number, crown shape, and enamel formation. Here we show that the Eda pathway also plays a key role in root development. Edar (the receptor) is expressed in Hertwig's epithelial root sheath (HERS) during root development, with mutant mice showing a high incidence of taurodontism: large pulp chambers lacking or showing delayed bifurcation or trifurcation of the roots. The mouse upper second molars in the Eda pathway mutants show the highest incidence of taurodontism, this enhanced susceptibility being matched in human patients with mutations in EDA-A1. These taurodont teeth form due to defects in the direction of extension of the HERS from the crown, associated with a more extensive area of proliferation of the neighboring root mesenchyme. In those teeth where the angle at which the HERS extends from the crown is very wide and therefore more vertical, the mutant HERSs fail to reach toward the center of the tooth in the normal furcation region, and taurodont teeth are created. The phenotype is variable, however, with milder changes in angle and proliferation leading to normal or delayed furcation. This is the first analysis of the role of Eda in the root, showing a direct role for this pathway during postnatal mouse development, and it suggests that changes in proliferation and angle of HERS may underlie taurodontism in a range of syndromes.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1290-1297
JournalJournal of Dental Research
Issue number11
Early online date16 Aug 2017
Publication statusPublished - Oct 2017

Keywords / Materials (for Non-textual outputs)

  • tooth
  • ectodermal dysplasia
  • epithelium
  • periodontium
  • furcation defects
  • ectodysplasins


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