Indexed on: 29 Mar '11Published on: 29 Mar '11Published in: Biomaterials
Amniotic membrane (AM) has been widely used in the reconstruction of oral epithelial defects. However, whether it is also effective in facilitating tissue formation of salivary gland, an appendix of oral epithelia, has never been explored. To investigate the effects and the underlying mechanism of AM on salivary gland morphogenesis, murine fetal submandibular gland (SMG) explants were cultured on different preparations of AM scaffolds. It was found that, on AM stromal scaffold, SMG demonstrated well-developed branching morphogenesis. Nonetheless, on AM epithelial scaffold, SMG epithelial cell converted to a spindle-shape, lost intercellular connection, changed cytoskeletal organization, and exhibited scattering behaviors. Meanwhile, the integrity of SMG basement membrane was dismantled as well. However, when acellular AM epithelial scaffold was used, cultured SMG demonstrated organized morphology, indicating that AM epithelial component provided specific surface features for SMG morphogenesis. To further investigate AM scaffold morphogenetic effect, it was found hepatocyte growth factor (HGF), an epithelial scattering factor, was expressed abundantly in cultivated AM epithelia. After blocking HGF function of AM, cultured SMG regained branching activity, reorganized cell adhesion and subcellular organization, and reproduced basement membranes. Therefore, AM-derived bioactive factor profoundly influences cell behaviors and structure formation of SMG. Together, this study showed that compositional topography of AM scaffold is important in affecting SMG morphogenesis. By understanding the effects of AM scaffold on SMG morphogenesis, it provides important information for rationally designing and fabricating AM scaffold for salivary gland regeneration.