Basic Research|Articles in Press

Immunohistochemical Analysis of S100 Proteins in Normal and Irreversibly Inflamed Human Dental Pulps

Published:March 03, 2023DOI:



      S100 proteins convey important roles in innate immune responses to infection and regenerative processes. However, their role in inflammatory or regenerative processes of the human dental pulp is poorly elucidated. The aim of the present study was to detect, localize, and compare the occurrence of 8 S100 proteins in normal, symptomatic, and asymptomatic irreversibly inflamed dental pulp specimens.


      Human dental pulp specimens from 45 individuals were clinically assigned to 3 groups of pulpal diagnosis: normal pulp (NP, n = 17), asymptomatic irreversible pulpitis (AIP, n = 13), and symptomatic irreversible pulpitis (SIP, n = 15). The specimens were prepared and immunohistochemically stained for proteins S100A1, -A2, -A3, -A4, -A6, -A7, -A8, and -A9. Staining was classified using semiquantitative analysis and a 4-degree staining score (ie, no, decent, medium, and intense staining) at 4 different anatomic or functional regions (ie, the odontoblast layer [OL], pulpal stroma [PS], border area of calcifications [BAC], and vessel walls). The distribution of staining degrees between the 3 diagnostic groups was calculated using the Fisher exact text (P ≤ .05) at the 4 regions.


      Significant differences in staining were observed mainly in the OL and PS and at the BAC. The most significant differences were detected in the PS and when comparing NP with 1 of the 2 irreversibly inflamed pulpal tissues (AIP or SIP). The inflamed tissues were then invariably stained more intensely than their normal counterparts at this location (S100A1, -A2, -A3, -A4, -A8, and -A9). In the OL, NP tissue was significantly stronger stained for S100A1, -A6, -A8, and -A9 compared with SIP and for S100A9 when compared with AIP. Differences between AIP and SIP in direct comparison were rare and were found only for 1 protein (S100A2) at the BAC. Also, at the vessel walls, only 1 statistical difference in staining was observed (SIP was stronger stained than NP for protein S100A3).


      The occurrence of proteins S100A1, -A2, -A3, -A4, -A6, -A8, and -A9 is significantly altered in irreversibly inflamed compared with normal dental pulp tissue at different anatomic localizations. Some members of S100 proteins obviously participate in focal calcification processes and pulp stone formation of the dental pulp.

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