How melatonin affects murine tooth development

The Scientist featured research co-authored by UBC scientists that examined the connection between melatonin and dental health.

UBC researchers and researchers from the Shanghai Jiao Tong University School of Medicine wanted to find out if circadian rhythms, which are partly mediated by melatonin, could affect dental development and health in mice.

Three groups of pregnant mice were exposed to normal light/dark cycles, constant light, or constant darkness, and scientists examined the teeth of their mouse pups after birth.

On the surface, there wasn’t too much change in the teeth of mouse pups whose mothers were exposed to constant darkness or constant light, said UBC neurosurgery professor William Jia.

“But if you look at the ultrastructural level, you do see pathological differences. They’re degenerated.”