Ferritin expression in the periodontal tissues of primates
Ferritin, an iron-binding protein, is composed of two subunits, ferritin heavy chain and ferritin 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 tissues of 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 in vitro. 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 in vivo. 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. fascicularis tissues, 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 the stratum basal of the epithelium in human gingival tissue, and strong immunostaining was found in peripheral regions of gingival carcinoma sites. Ferritin is constitutively present and widely distributed in the periodontal tissues of primates. Ferritin may play roles in epithelial proliferation, vascular angiogenesis, and mineralization in these tissues.
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