Transcriptomic profiling of feline teeth highlights the role of matrix metalloproteinase 9 (MMP9) in tooth resorption

Seungmee Lee, S Bush, R. S. Thorne, N Mawson, Colin Farquharson, Gurå Therese Bergkvist

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

Abstract / Description of output

Tooth resorption (TR) in domestic cats is a common and painful disease characterised by the loss of mineralised tissues from the tooth. Due to its progressive nature and unclear aetiology the only treatment currently available is to extract affected teeth. To gain insight into TR pathogenesis, we characterised the transcriptomic changes involved in feline TR by sequencing RNA extracted from 14 teeth (7 with and 7 without signs of resorption) collected from 11 cats. A paired comparison of teeth from the same cat with and without signs of resorption identified 1,732 differentially expressed genes, many of which were characteristic of osteoclast activity and differentiation, in particular matrix metalloproteinase 9 (MMP9). MMP9 expression was confirmed by qPCR and immunocytochemistry of odontoclasts located in TR lesions. A hydroxamate-based MMP9 inhibitor reduced both osteoclast formation and resorption activity while siRNA targeting MMP9 also inhibited osteoclast differentiation although had little effect on resorption activity. Overall, these results suggest that increased MMP9 expression is involved in the progress of TR pathogenesis and that MMP9 may be a potential therapeutic target in feline TR.
Original languageEnglish
JournalScientific Reports
Early online date3 Nov 2020
Publication statusE-pub ahead of print - 3 Nov 2020


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