Ferritin expression in the periodontal tissues of primates
Ferritin, an iron-binding protein, is composed of two subunits, a heavy chain and a light chain. It regulates many biological functions, such as proliferation, angiogenesis, and immunosuppression. The objective of this study was to determine the expression and distribution of ferritin in the periodontal tissuesof primates.First, we assessed the expression of ferritin in primary cultured cells isolated from human periodontal tissues using the polymerase chain reaction and immunofluorescent staining. Second, we investigated the expression and distribution of ferritin in the periodontal tissues of Macaca fascicularis, human gingival tissues, and human gingival carcinoma tissues using immunohistochemistry.Both protein and mRNA of ferritin were constitutively present in human primary cultured cells, including those from the dental apical papilla, periodontal ligament, dental pulp, and gingival epithelium, as well as gingival fibroblasts. In M. fascicularistissues, the immunohistochemical staining was particularly strong in blood vessel and mineralizing areas of the dental pulp and periodontal ligament. Ferritin heavy chain exhibited specific immunopositivity in in the stratum basale of the epithelium in human gingival tissue and strong immunostaining was found in peripheral regions of gingival carcinoma sites. Ferritin is constitutivelypresent andwidelydistributed in the periodontal tissues of primates. Ferritin may play roles in epithelial proliferation, vascular angiogenesis, and mineralization in these tissues.
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