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Three-dimensional ultrastructural analysis of cells in the periodontal ligament using focused ion beam/scanning electron microscope tomography.


ABSTRACT: The accurate comprehension of normal tissue provides essential data to analyse abnormalities such as disease and regenerative processes. In addition, understanding the proper structure of the target tissue and its microenvironment may facilitate successful novel treatment strategies. Many studies have examined the nature and structure of periodontal ligaments (PDLs); however, the three-dimensional (3D) structure of cells in normal PDLs remains poorly understood. In this study, we used focused ion beam/scanning electron microscope tomography to investigate the whole 3D ultrastructure of PDL cells along with quantitatively analysing their structural properties and ascertaining their orientation to the direction of the collagen fibre. PDL cells were shown to be in contact with each other, forming a widespread mesh-like network between the cementum and the alveolar bone. The volume of the cells in the horizontal fibre area was significantly larger than in other areas, whereas the anisotropy of these cells was lower than in other areas. Furthermore, the orientation of cells to the PDL fibres was not parallel to the PDL fibres in each area. As similar evaluations are recognized as being challenging using conventional two-dimensional methods, these novel 3D findings may contribute necessary knowledge for the comprehensive understanding and analysis of PDLs.

PROVIDER: S-EPMC5171660 | BioStudies |

REPOSITORIES: biostudies

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