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Keywords:

  • Rat incisor pulp;
  • Odontoblast;
  • Blood capillary;
  • Macrophage;
  • Polymorphonuclear neutrophil

Abstract

Transmission electron microscopy of thin sections of the rat incisor pulp revealed that in the middle region of the incisor there were fenestrated capillaries in the “predentinal plexus” and that this region contained the tallest odontoblasts. The odontoblasts gradually became shortened in the incisal part of this region: the fenestrated capillaries in the predentinal plexus changed to continuous type capillaries. Almost all the odontoblasts had degenerated near the incisal end of the tooth. The predentinal plexus disappeared in this region, but the “subodontoblastic capillary plexus” persisted. In a specific region just beneath the worn incisal end, numerous macrophages and polymorphonuclear neutrophils appeared and scavenged the degenerating cells, possibly including the odontoblasts. © 1993 Wiley-Liss, Inc.