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Martinez G., Carnazza M. L., Leonardi R., Loreto C.
Background. Vimentin (57 Kda) is a cytoskeletal protein. Odontoblasts contain vimentin and it seems that this protein may function to keep the organelles and the nucleus in a definite place. However little is known about vimentin in the cytoskeleton of odontoblast processes. The purpose of the present study was, therefore to immunolocalize vimentin intermediate filament in odontoblast body and process in order to clarify the distribution of this cytoskeletal element.
Methods. 12 extracted intact premolars, from children, were used in the present study. Each specimen was decalcified in EDTA. Each tissue portion was embedded in paraffin. On sections a monoclonal anti-vimentin antibody was applied. The immunoreaction was visualized by ABC technique.
Results. Vimentin was expressed in the cell body and cell process of odontoblasts, however with a different immunolabeling pattern related to the topographical area of observations. In odontoblast cell bodies vimentin showed a perinuclear and cytoplasmatic staining. In the very initial portion of odontoblast process immunoreaction products for vimentin were observed in the core of the process. In the middle zone of dentin vimentin immunoreactions products also showed a granular and cross-bridge arrangements, and also, vimentin was also detected under the plasma membrane, at the periphery of the odontoblast process. Nearby the dentino-enamel junction vimentin immunolabeling was appreciated, mainly under the plasma membrane.
Conclusions. On the basis of vimentin distribution in the odontoblast process it seems plausible to assume that this IF vimentin is important in forming a flexible scaffold essential for structuring cytoplasm.