ALLERGY, RESPIRATORY
Keep Asthma, Allergies at Bay for the Holidays
Combating Myths About Seasonal Allergies
Herbal Remedy Could Halt Peanut Allergy
ALTERNATIVE MEDICINE
Acupuncture May Help Restore Lost Sense of Smell
Animals Respond to Acupuncture's Healing Touch
Placebo Acupuncture Tied to Higher IVF Pregnancies
ANIMAL CARE
Separation Anxiety, Canine-Style
Rest Easy. When It Comes to Swine Flu, Your Pet Is Safe
Safe Toys for Dogs
BONES & JOINTS
Rheumatoid Arthritis May Harm Gums
Low Vitamin D Raises Women's Hip Fracture Risk
Almost Half of Adults Will Develop Knee Osteoarthritis by 85
CANCER
Smokeout '08: The Perfect Time to Quit
Seaweed May Help Treat Lymphoma
Immune Therapy May Aid Kids With Neuroblastoma
CAREGIVING
Acute Respiratory Distress Syndrome as Deadly as Ever
High Rate of Rehospitalizations Costing Billions
Study of Everest Climbers Questions Oxygen Use
CIRCULATORY SYSTEM
Laughter Can Boost Heart Health
Walk 100 Steps a Minute for 'Moderate' Exercise
Potassium-Rich Foods May Cut Stroke, Heart Disease Risk
COSMETIC
Wrinkle Fillers Need Better Label Warnings: FDA Panel
Mouse Study Finds Molecule That Tells Hair to Grow
With Psoriasis, the Internet May Offer Hope
DENTAL, ORAL
Dental Implants Need More Work Than Root Canals
Gum Disease Treatment Doesn't Cut Preterm Birth Risk
Obesity Boosts Gum Disease Risk
DIABETES
Doctors Urged to Screen Diabetics for Sleep Apnea
Abnormal Heart Rhythm Boosts Death Risk for Diabetics
Vitamin K Slows Insulin Resistance in Older Men
DIET, NUTRITION
Vitamin B12 Key to Aging Brain
Is Coffee Good or Bad for Your Health?
Added Sugars in Diet Threaten Heart Health
DISABILITIES
Could Your Cell Phone Help Shield You From Alzheimer's?
Review Finds Marijuana May Help MS Patients
ENVIRONMENTAL HEALTH
City Kids Find the Breathin' Is Easier Elsewhere
Air Pollution Raises Risk of Heart Disease, Death
Prenatal Exposure to Traffic Pollution May Lead to Asthma
EYE CARE, VISION
Impotence Drugs Don't Harm Vision: Study
Thyroid Problems Boost Glaucoma Risk
Contact Lens Cases Often Contaminated
FITNESS
Keep Safety in Mind While Your Kids Are Cooling Off in the Water
Community Exercise Programs Boost Seniors' Strength
Exercise Helps Reduce Falls in Young and Old
GASTROINTESTINAL PROBLEMS
HRT Use Raises Risk of Stomach Trouble
Intestinal Bacteria Trigger Immune Response
Bowel Prep Harder on Women Than Men
GENERAL HEALTH
Eat Light - Live Longer
Parents Influence Sex Decisions, Hispanic Teens Say
What you need to know about swine flu.
HEAD & NECK
Ski Helmets Encouraged for All
Zen May Thicken Brain, Thwart Pain
Many Children Will Outgrow Headaches
HEALTH & TECHNOLOGY
Imaging Sheds Light on How Acupuncture Works
'Cell Phone Elbow' -- A New Ill for the Wired Age
Magnet Therapy May Ease Hard-to-Treat Depression
HEARING
Summer Sounds Can Lead to Hearing Loss
Noise Hurts Men's Hearing More, Study Shows
HEART & CARDIOVASCULAR
How Weight Loss Can Help the Heart
Too-Low Blood Pressure Can Also Bring Danger
Whole Grains Lower Risk of Heart Failure
INFECTIOUS DISEASE
Dry Weather Boosts Odds of Flu Outbreaks
Surgical Masks Could Prevent Flu, Maybe
Chinese 'Devil Dung' Plant Could Be a Swine Flu Fighter
INFERTILITY
Obesity May Affect Fertility in Young Womene
KID'S HEALTH
Time to Remind Teens About Sun Protection
Guard Kids' Eyes Against Long-Term Sun Damage
Health Tip: Back Pain in Children
MEN'S HEALTH
Exercise May Prevent Prostate Cancer: Study Shows
Noise Hurts Men's Hearing More, Study Shows
Lots of Sex May Prevent Erectile Dysfunction
MENTAL HEALTH
Meditation May Boost College Students' Learning
Man's Best Friend Helps Mend Broken Hearts
Eight Spiritual Universal Principles in the Art of Practice
PAIN
Alleviating Rheumatoid Arthritis
Are We Exercising Pain Away? Not So Much.
Acupuncture, Real or Fake, Eases Back Pain
PHYSICAL THERAPY
PREGNANCY
Breast-Feeding Benefits Moms and Babies
Heart Defects in Newborns Linked to Antidepressants
Before Conceiving, Take Folic Acid for One Full Year
SENIORS
Tai Chi and Qigong Offer Many Health Benefits: Review
Seniors Who Volunteer May Live Longer
Money May Matter, Health-Wise, in Old Age
SEXUAL HEALTH
SLEEP DISORDERS
Daylight Savings: Not a Bright Time for All
6 to 8 Hours of Shut-Eye Is Optimal for Health
Exercising Throat Muscles May Relieve Sleep Apnea
WOMEN'S HEALTH
Pre-Pregnancy Weight Linked to Babies' Heart Problems
Sleeping Could Help Women Lose The Baby Fat
Simple Carbs Pose Heart Risk for Women
Add your Article

Scientists Find Gene for Tooth Enamel

TUESDAY, Feb. 24 (HealthDay News) -- A gene that plays a role in immune function and the development of skin and the nervous system also controls the production of tooth enamel, Oregon State University researchers have found.

Their discovery about the gene Ctip2 (a transcription factor) could lead to new methods of repairing damaged enamel and preventing cavities, restoring teeth or even producing replacement teeth.

"It's not unusual for a gene to have multiple functions, but before this, we didn't know what regulated the production of tooth enamel," Chrissa Kioussi, an assistant professor in the college of pharmacy at Oregon State, said in a university news release. "This is the first transcription factor ever found to control the formation and maturation of ameloblasts, which are the cells that secrete enamel."

Kioussi and her colleagues studied baby mice in which the Ctip2 gene had been "knocked out" and its protein was missing. The mice had rudimentary teeth ready to erupt, but the teeth lacked the proper enamel coating and would never have been functional.

The findings appear in this week's Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences.

Using this new information about Ctip2, it might be possible to use tooth stem cells to stimulate the growth of new teeth, Kioussi said. She noted that some researchers have successfully grown the inner portions of teeth in laboratory animal experiments, but the teeth had no hard coatings because the scientists didn't know which gene controlled enamel growth.

"A lot of work would still be needed to bring this to human applications, but it should work," Kioussi said. "It could be really cool -- a whole new approach to dental health."

Many people have problems with eroded tooth enamel, and most cavities start as a hole in tooth enamel that allows decay to begin.

More information

The American Academy of Family Physicians has more about oral health.



-- Robert Preidt



SOURCE: Oregon State University, news release, Feb. 23, 2009

Last Updated: Feb. 24, 2009

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