Intercellular junctions in the odontoblastic layer have been studied with a freeze-fracture technique. Children’s tooth germs were fixed, sliced and deminerahzed. Samples of the pulpodentinal border were routinely prepared for freeze-fracture. Three kinds of intercellular junctions were detected between human odontoblast cell bodies: gap junctions, desmosomes and tight junctions. Numerous gap junctions are responsible for intercellular communication at different levels of the cell bodies. Focal tight junctions, parallel to the axis of the cell, and desmosomes are sites of cell-to-cell adhesion between lateral plasma membranes. At the distal end of the cell bodies, junctional complexes consist of zonular tight junctions and gap junctions. These zonular tight junctions, never before described between odontoblasts, contribute to the pseudo-epithelial organization of the odontoblastic layer. They constitute a predentin-pulp barrier, the permeability of which must be studied to establish their role in relation to dentin formation.

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