Resilient forms of advanced glycation endproduct accumulate in the body with age as a byproduct of the operation of metabolism, particularly glucosepane in tissues such as skin. Our biochemistry struggles to remove these compounds, and they cause progressively greater harm in soft tissues by damaging tissue structure so as to reduce elasticity and generating higher levels of inflammation. This is why efforts to develop the means to remove AGEs are important. The types and effects of AGEs in harder tissues are not so well understood, however:
Cross-linking of collagen by Advanced Glycation End-products (AGEs) occurs by non-enzymatic glycation (Maillard reaction). The purpose of this study was to examine whether AGEs are formed in human dentinal collagen, and to consider any possible influence of AGEs on dentinal physiology.
Mechanical characteristics, fluorescence spectra and immunohistochemical analyses of demineralized dentine sections from young subjects were compared with those of aged ones. The same investigations were performed with young dentine artificially glycated by incubation in ribose solution. Indentation measurement indicated that the sections from aged dentine were mechanically harder than those from young dentine. The hardness of young dentine increased after incubation in ribose solution. Fluorescence peak wavelength of the young dentine was shorter than that of the aged one, but shifted towards the peak wavelength of the aged one after incubation in ribose solution.
These changes were considered to be due to accumulation of AGEs. Existence of AGEs in dentinal collagen was confirmed by immunohistochemical analysis. The obtained results suggest that AGEs accumulation occurs in dentinal collagen and is affected by both human age and physiological conditions such as glucose level in blood because dentinal collagen receives nourishment via dental pulp and tubules.