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The two distinct molecular forms of cholinesterase (ChE) are acetylcholinesterase (AChE) and butyrylcholinesterase (BuChE). Our previous studies have reported that ChE is involved in tooth development. However, further experiments are needed to understand the precise action of ChE in tooth development. This study aimed to localise types of ChE in human tooth germs, and identify their distribution pattern. ChE were localised in frozen sections of jaws which were prepared from dead fetuses, neonates and stillborns who were free from visible abnormalities by Karnovsky and Root method. AChE was identified in the inner and outer enamel epithelia including the cervical loop region, stratum intermedium and preameloblasts of tooth germs at bell stage. Secretory ameloblasts were free from staining. The bud and cap stages of permanent tooth germs showed AChE activity on the lingual aspect and top surface of the epithelial ingrowths, respectively. BuChE activity was localised in the degenerating dental lamina. Our study reported the first evidence of localisation of ChE in human tooth development and identified the possible molecular form of ChE in tooth germs as AChE. Also, our results have provided strong evidence to speculate the action of AChE is on the cells of enamel organ during tooth development.


T L Nandasena, C K Jayawardena, W M Tilakaratne, C D Nanayakkara. Distribution pattern of cholinesterase enzymes in human tooth germs. Archives of oral biology. 2010 Aug;55(8):561-9

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PMID: 20627235

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