Expression of Toll Like Receptor 4 in Normal Human Odontoblasts and Dental Pulp Tissue

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The aim of the study was to determine the expression of TLR4 in odontoblasts and the dental pulp. Odontoblasts and pulp tissues were collected from freshly extracted human wisdom teeth. Reverse transcription-polymerase chain reaction and Western blotting were performed to detect TLR4 mRNA and protein expression, respectively. Immunohistochemical staining was used to determine the distribution of TLR4 in odontoblasts and the pulp. Scanning electron microscopy (SEM) was applied to observe the morphology of odontoblasts. It was demonstrated that TLR4 mRNA and protein expressions were both present in cells of odontoblast layer and pulp tissues and that TLR4 expression was distributed in odontoblasts and some pulpal vascular endothelial cells. SEM revealed the integrity of the odontoblast cell-layer and the well-preserved morphology of individual odontoblast cells. These findings suggest that TLR4 expressed in odontoblasts may play an important role in the dental immune defense.

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