The junctional epithelium (JE) is an epithelial component that is directly attached to the tooth surface and has a protective function against periodontal diseases. In this study, we determined the origin of the JE using a bioengineered tooth technique. We transplanted the bioengineered tooth germ into the alveolar bone with an epithelial component that expressed green fluorescence protein. The reduced enamel epithelium from the bioengineered tooth fused with the oral epithelium, and the JE was apparently formed around the bioengineered tooth 50 days after transplantation. Importantly, the JE exhibited green fluorescence for at least 140 days after transplantation, suggesting that the JE was not replaced by oral epithelium. Therefore, our results demonstrated that the origin of the JE was the odontogenic epithelium, and odontogenic epithelium-derived JE was maintained for a relatively long period.
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