We studied the distribution of the phosphophoryn present in rat incisors by immunolocalization and histochemical techniques. The polyclonal antibody used reacts with both phosphorylated and de-phosphorylated phosphophoryn. Technical problems encountered in immunostaining and in preparing sections from mineralized dentin were resolved by use of peroxidase-conjugated protein A as the 'second antibody' in indirect immunostaining reactions and by surface etching of partially demineralized sections. Staining with anti-rat incisor α-phosphophoryn antibody showed light staining over the odontoblasts and proximal odontoblastic processes, no stain over the predentin, dense staining over the intertubular dentin, and no stain over the mantle dentin. In the intertubular dentin the stain intensity was directly related to the distribution of mineral. These findings were directly corroborated by staining with Stains All. The mineralization of dentin and the distribution of phosphophoryn within the dentin may be much less uniform than previously supposed.
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