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The epithelial-mesenchymal interactions: insights into physiological and pathological aspects of oral tissues

Santosh, Arvind Babu Rajendra and Jones, Thaon Jon

Arvind Babu Rajendra

Oncology reviews

2014

1

8

In the human biological system, the individual cells divide and form tissues and organs. These tissues are hetero-cellular. Basically any tissue consists of an epithelium and the connective tissue. The latter contains mainly mesenchymally-derived tissues with a diversified cell population. The cell continues to grow and differentiate in a pre-programmed manner using a messenger system. The epithelium and the mesenchymal portion of each tissue have two different origins and perform specific functions, but there is a well-defined interaction mechanism, which mediates between them. Epithelial mesenchymal interactions (EMIs) are part of this mechanism, which can be regarded as a biological conversation between epithelial and mesenchymal cell populations involved in the cellular differentiation of one or both cell populations. EMIs represent a process that is essential for cell growth, cell differentiation and cell multiplication. EMIs are associated with normal physiological processes in the oral cavity, such as odontogenesis, dentino-enamel junction formation, salivary gland development, palatogenesis, and also pathological processes, such as oral cancer. This paper focuses the role EMIs in odontogenesis, salivary gland development, palatogenesis and oral cancer.

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