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Keywords:

  • cyclophosphamide;
  • odontogenesis;
  • ultrastructure;
  • pulp;
  • enamel organ

The effect of a single dose of 300 mg/kg of cyclophosphamide (CY) on the ultrastructure of the basal area of lower incisor teeth was investigated in two strains of mice (DBA/2 and C57BL/6) which are very differently affected by the delayed toxicity of CY. As in the rat, CY produced necrosis in the primitive mesenchymal cells and preodontoblasts of the pulp. Moreover, important changes were noticed in the associated layers of the enamel organ (presumptive stratum intermedium cells and stellate reticulum); thus, most of the cells displayed degenerative changes including extensive vacuolization, cytoplasm sequestration and variable nuclear alterations ranging from relative integrity to complete disorganization. In contrast, non-dividing columnar odontoblasts and ameloblasts were not affected by the drug. The alterations appeared as early as 21 hours after CY and progressed in the following 2 and 3 days. Normality of the formative tooth end was regained 7 days after CY. These results indicate that in addition to the effect on the pulp, CY produces severe cytopathological changes in the cells of the stratum intermedium and stellate reticulum of the enamel organ.

The different sensitivity of DBA/2 and C57BL/6 mice to the delayed toxicity of CY does not seem to be related to its effect on odontogenesis since both strains showed the same response to CY in this respect.