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Pamela Den Besten D.D.S., M.S.

Dental Pulp Stem Cells

Pamela Den Besten D.D.S., M.S.

The focus of research in the Den Besten laboratory is in the biomineralization of tooth enamel and dentin. They currently have several active projects to study various aspects of enamel and dentin biomineralization. One of these projects aims to determine the mechanism by which fluoride affects enamel formation to result in enamel fluorosis. In this project they are investigating several possible mechanisms by which enamel fluorosis occurs, including altered protein/mineral interactions, and a direct of fluoride on the developing ameloblasts.

In order to determine factors that alter enamel formation, we need to better understand the proteins, proteinases and other molecules responsible for normal enamel formation. We are using immunopertrubation and antisense methods in tooth organ culture to alter the presence of certain proteins in enamel development. These studies have suggested that the enamel matrix protein, ameloblastin, has a key role in the regulation of enamel matrix synthesis.

Their studies on dentin formation have utilized various available transgenic mouse models with transgene expression driven by the osteocalcin promotor. In one of these mice models that over expresses TGF- , the dentin mineral apposition rate is increased while the physical properties of the dentin remain the same. Studies of dentin formation in these various transgenic mouse models will allow us to determine the key elements in dentin biomineralization and to use these elements to form dentin-like materials in vitro .

Selected publications:

Zhan L, Tan S, Den Besten P, Featherstone JD, Hoover CI. Factors related to maternal transmission of mutans streptococci in high-risk children-pilot study. Pediatr Dent. 2012 Jul-Aug; 34(4):e86-91.

DenBesten PK, Zhu L, Li W, Tanimoto K, Liu H, Witkowska HE. Fluoride incorporation into apatite crystals delays amelogenin hydrolysis. Eur J Oral Sci. 2011 Dec; 119 Suppl 1:3-7.

Zhang Y, Kim SO, Opsahl-Vital S, Ho SP, Souron JB, Kim C, Giles K, Den Besten PK. Multiple effects of the cellular prion protein on tooth development. Int J Dev Biol. 2011; 55(10-12):953-60.

Boyce WT, Den Besten PK, Stamperdahl J, Zhan L, Jiang Y, Adler NE, Featherstone JD. Social inequalities in childhood dental caries: the convergent roles of stress, bacteria and disadvantage. Soc Sci Med. 2010 Nov; 71(9):1644-52.

Coppe C, Zhang Y, Den Besten PK. Characterization of primary dental pulp cells in vitro. Pediatr Dent. 2009 Nov-Dec; 31(7):467-71.

Shiboski CH, Kawada P, Golinveaux M, Tornabene A, Krishnan S, Mathias R, Den Besten P, Rosenthal P. Oral disease burden and utilization of dental care patterns among pediatric solid organ transplant recipients. J Public Health Dent. 2009; 69(1):48-55.

Zhan L, Featherstone JD, Gansky SA, Hoover CI, Fujino T, Berkowitz RJ, Den Besten PK. Antibacterial treatment needed for severe early childhood caries. J Public Health Dent. 2006; 66(3):174-9.

Featherstone JD, Adair SM, Anderson MH, Berkowitz RJ, Bird WF, Crall JJ, Den Besten PK, Donly KJ, Glassman P, Milgrom P, Roth JR, Snow R, Stewart RE. Caries management by risk assessment: consensus statement, April 2002. J Calif Dent Assoc. 2003 Mar; 31(3):257-69.

Den Besten PK. Mechanism and timing of fluoride effects on developing enamel. J Public Health Dent. 1999; 59(4):247-51.

Den Besten PK, Punzi JS, Li W. Purification and sequencing of a 21 kDa and 25 kDa bovine enamel metalloproteinase. Eur J Oral Sci. 1998 Jan; 106 Suppl 1:345-9.