The epithelial-mesenchymal interactions: insights into physiological and pathological aspects of oral tissues

Main Article Content

Arvind Babu Rajendra Santosh *
Thaon Jon Jones
(*) Corresponding Author:
Arvind Babu Rajendra Santosh |


In the human biological system, the individual cells divide and form tissues and organs. These tissues are hetero-cellular. Basically any tissue consists of an epithelium and the connective tissue. The latter contains mainly mesenchymally-derived tissues with a diversified cell population. The cell continues to grow and differentiate in a pre-programmed manner using a messenger system. The epithelium and the mesenchymal portion of each tissue have two different origins and perform specific functions, but there is a well-defined interaction mechanism, which mediates between them. Epithelial mesenchymal interactions (EMIs) are part of this mechanism, which can be regarded as a biological conversation between epithelial and mesenchymal cell populations involved in the cellular differentiation of one or both cell populations. EMIs represent a process that is essential for cell growth, cell differentiation and cell multiplication. EMIs are associated with normal physiological processes in the oral cavity, such as odontogenesis, dentino-enamel junction formation, salivary gland development, palatogenesis, and also pathological processes, such as oral cancer. This paper focuses the role EMIs in odontogenesis, salivary gland development, palatogenesis and oral cancer.

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Author Biographies

Arvind Babu Rajendra Santosh, The University of the West Indies, Mona, Kingston

Lecturer and Research Cordinator

Thaon Jon Jones, The University of the West Indies, Mona, Kingston

Programme director; Course Lecturer