Characterization of Enamel Incremental Markings and Crown Growth Parameters in Minipig Molars
We studied the structure and periodicity of regular incremental markings in third molar enamel of minipigs. Light microscopy of ground sections revealed the presence of incremental markings matching the description of laminations. Their number within the section planes closely paralleled crown formation time (CFT) in days reported for minipig third molars, thereby indicating the daily nature of laminations. Spacing of consecutive laminations increased from lowest values in the inner to highest values in the outer enamel, where mean daily secretion rates of about 20 µm were recorded. Mean enamel extension rates determined for deciles along the enamel‐dentin junction varied between highest values (155 µm/day) in the most cuspally located and lowest values (19 µm/day) in cervical enamel. Backscattered electron imaging in the SEM revealed the presence of thin, regularly spaced hypermineralized incremental lines in the outer enamel portion. These lines exhibited the same spacing as the laminations and were, thus, likewise regarded as daily incremental markings. Between two successive daily incremental markings, subdaily growth marks were discernible in light microscopic and in BSE‐SEM images. These subdaily growth marks closely resembled the (daily) prism‐cross striations of human enamel. Supra‐daily growth marks were not identified in the minipig enamel. The results of this study parallels previous findings in sheep enamel. It is cautioned that CFT of ungulate teeth may be considerably overestimated if the periodicity established for growth marks in human enamel is uncritically transferred to the analysis of morphologically similar growth marks in ungulate enamel. Anat Rec, 297:1935–1949, 2014. © 2014 Wiley Periodicals, Inc.
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