For any child who has lost a tooth, the tooth fairy is a welcome visitor. The fairy will not only leave a small present under the pillow, but the kid will also be guaranteed a new tooth in a few months. Adults who have lost their teeth cannot say the same. However, a new study from Kyoto University and the University of Fukui may give some hope. An antibody against one gene, uterine sensitization associated gene-1 or USAG-1, can stimulate tooth growth in mice with tooth agenesis, a congenital disease, according to the researchers. The study was presented in the journal Science Advances. Despite the fact that the average adult mouth contains 32 teeth, about 1% of the population has more or fewer teeth due to congenital conditions. Scientists have looked into the genetic causes of cases with an excessive number of teeth to see if there are any clues for regenerating teeth in adults.
The fundamental molecules responsible for tooth growth have already been established, according to Katsu Takahashi, one of the study’s lead authors and a senior lecturer at Kyoto University Graduate School of Medicine. “The interactions of several molecules, including BMP, or bone morphogenetic protein, and Wnt signaling, play a role in the morphogenesis of individual teeth,” says Takahashi. BMP and Wnt play a role in more than just tooth growth. They control the development of a variety of organs and tissues well before the human body reaches the size of a raisin. As a result, medications that directly affect their operation are often avoided due to the risk of side effects affecting the whole body. The team considered the gene USAG-1 after assuming that targeting factors that antagonize BMP and Wnt directly in tooth growth would be safer.
As a result, the researchers looked into the efficacy of multiple monoclonal antibodies against USAG-1. Monoclonal antibodies are widely used in the treatment of cancer, arthritis, and the manufacture of vaccines. Both BMP and Wnt interact with USAG-1. As a result, some of the antibodies caused the mice to have low birth and survival rates, proving the value of both BMP and Wnt in whole-body development. BMP signaling is required for determining the number of teeth in mice, according to experiments using this antibody. Furthermore, a single administration was sufficient to produce an entire tooth. Ferrets demonstrated the same benefits in subsequent studies.