Research

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Laboratory of Oral Connective Tissue Biology

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Martha Somerman, D.D.S, Ph.D.
Chief, Laboratory of Oral Connective Tissue Biology
Phone: (301) 402-5884
E-mail: somermanmj@mail.nih.gov

The Laboratory of Oral Connective Tissue Biology studies the molecular biology of dental-oral-craniofacial development, with a focus on the periodontal complex. We aim to understand cells and signals influencing tooth, bone, and periodontal ligament development in order to identify improved regenerative strategies. A variety of approaches are taken, including in vitro cell and organ culture, transgenic animal models for studying gene function, in vivo models for studying periodontal repair and regeneration, and studies involving human subjects focusing on genetic disorders and pathologies affecting the dentoalveolar complex. These studies should provide greater insight on all hard and soft connective tissues, as well as help identify links between systemic conditions and the oral cavity.

Our lab's recent focus areas have been:

  1. Role of phosphate and pyrophosphate metabolism in physiology and pathology of the dentoalveolar complex
  2. Role of extracellular matrix proteins and signaling molecules in development of the tooth root and differentiation of associated cell types
  3. Novel approaches for periodontal regeneration

Selected Publications

Foster BL, Soenjaya Y, Nociti FH Jr, Holm E, Zerfas PM, Wimer HF, Holdsworth DW, Aubin JE, Hunter GK, Goldberg HA, Somerman MJ. Deficiency in acellular cementum and periodontal attachment in bsp null mice.J Dent Res. 2013 Feb;92(2):166-72. doi: 10.1177/0022034512469026. PubMed Icon

Foster BL, Nagatomo KJ, Tso HW, Tran AB, Nociti FH Jr, Narisawa S, Yadav MC, McKee MD, Millán JI, Somerman MJ. Tooth root dentin mineralization defects in a mouse model of hypophosphatasia. J Bone Miner Res. 2013 Feb;28(2):271-82. doi: 10.1002/jbmr.1767. PubMed Icon

Lau WL, Linnes M, Chu EY, Foster BL, Bartley BA, Somerman MJ, Giachelli CM. High phosphate feeding promotes mineral and bone abnormalities in mice with chronic kidney disease. Nephrol Dial Transplant. 2013 Jan;28(1):62-9. doi: 10.1093/ndt/gfs333. Epub 2012 Oct 8. PubMed Icon

Foster BL, Soenjaya Y, Nociti FH Jr, Holm E, Zerfas PM, Wimer HF, Holdsworth DW, Aubin JE, Hunter GK, Goldberg HA, Somerman MJ. Deficiency in Acellular Cementum and Periodontal Attachment in Bsp Null Mice. J Dent Res. 2012 Nov 26. PubMed Icon

Foster BL, Nagatomo KJ, Tso HW, Tran AB, Nociti FH Jr, Narisawa S, Yadav MC, McKee MD, Millán JL, Somerman MJ. Tooth root dentin mineralization defects in a mouse model of hypophosphatasia. J Bone Miner Res. 2012 Sep 18. doi: 10.1002/jbmr.1767. PubMed Icon

Foster BL, Nagatomo KJ, Nociti FH Jr, Fong H, Dunn D, Tran AB, Wang W, Narisawa S, Millán JL, Somerman MJ. Central role of pyrophosphate in acellular cementum formation. PLoS One. 2012;7(6):e38393. Epub 2012 Jun 4. PubMed Icon

Bianchini MA, Pontual MA, Bez L, Benfatti CA, Boabaid F, Somerman MJ, Magini RS. The use of bovine screws to promote bone formation using a tibia model in dogs. Oral Surg Oral Med Oral Pathol Oral Radiol. 2012 Apr 10. pii: S2212-4403(12)00205-2. doi: 10.1016/j.oooo.2011.12.018. [Epub ahead of print] PubMed Icon

Tada H, Nemoto E, Foster BL, Somerman MJ, Shimauchi H. Phosphate increases bone morphogenetic protein-2 expression through cAMP-dependent protein kinase and ERK1/2 pathways in human dental pulp cells. Bone. 2011 Jun 1;48(6):1409-16. PubMed Icon

Rodrigues TL, Nagatomo KJ, Foster BL, Nociti FH, Somerman MJ. Modulation of Phosphate/Pyrophosphate Metabolism to Regenerate the Periodontium. A Novel In Vivo Approach. J Periodontol. 2011 Apr 13. [Epub ahead of print] PubMed Icon

Foster BL, Nagatomo KJ, Bamashmous SO, Tompkins KA, Fong H, Dunn D, Chu EY, Guenther C, Kingsley DM, Rutherford RB, Somerman MJ. The Progressive Ankylosis Protein Regulates Cementum Apposition and Extracellular Matrix Composition.Cells Tissues Organs. 2011 Mar 9 PubMed Icon

See extended list of publications

 

Reviewed September 24, 2012