Dentin and bone are formed when odontoblasts and osteoblasts synthesize and secrete collagen type I-rich extracellular matrix that mineralizes in a highly controlled manner. A wide spectrum of mouse and human disorders affecting tooth and bone biomineralization shows that dentin and bone formation are under strict genetic control. Although the controlling mechanisms of dentinogenesis and osteogenesis require further study, a large body of evidence points to the importance of the matrix metalloproteinases (MMPs) participate in a wide variety of extracellular matrix degradation. Detailed knowledge of MMPs may be important for understanding the pathogenesis of tooth development. Some researchers have pointed MMP-9 is an extracelluar proteinase that is highly expressed in osteoclasts and has been postulated to play an important role in their resorptive activity. Although MMP-9 has been reported to play a role in bone resorption, the association of this enzyme during deciduous tooth resorption has not yet been clarified. Based on accumulating evidence, we hypothesized that MMP-9 should play a role in teeth attrition. In this study, we have applied NMR relaxation technique to assess age-related MMP-9 KO tooth quality in vitro by quantifying changes in dentin and pulp simultaneously. The major hypothesis in this paper was that whether noninvasive NMR relaxation time measurements could be used to characterize MMP-9 KO changes in dentin and pulp, and to predict tooth quality. Specifically, we tested that age-related MMP-9 KO tooth changes result in an alteration of the NMR spin-spin (T2) relaxation time signal due to the structural changes in the tooth matrix. This signal can be further processed to produce a T2 relaxation distribution spectrum related to dentin and pulp, and their derived parameters can be used as descriptors of age-related MMP-9 KO tooth changes. In this study, the proton liquid-like NMR spin-spin (T2) relaxation decay signal was obtained from the Carr-Purcell-Meiboom-Gill (CPMG) NMR spin echo train method [1,2], then the relaxation decay signal was converted to T2 relaxation distribution spectra describing the size domain of dentin and pulp. Therefore, we can calibrate the intensities in NMR inversion T2 relaxation distribution spectra corresponding to the amount of dentin and pulp related to the structural changes. Here, we propose an NMR calibration method “NMR standard estimation” — the ratio of the amount of pulp to the amount of dentin obtained from NMR T2 distribution spectra that can be used to measure the age-related MMP-9 KO structural changes in teeth [3]. We are cognizant of the biological and physiological variability manifest in teeth size variations, but feel that this kind of NMR standard estimation — the ratio of amount of dentin to amount of pulp from the NMR T2 inversion spectrum can be used to determine age-related MMP-9 KO structural changes in teeth and eliminate any variations in size of teeth.

This content is only available via PDF.
You do not currently have access to this content.