Date on Master's Thesis/Doctoral Dissertation


Document Type

Master's Thesis

Degree Name



Oral Biology

Committee Chair

Darling, Douglas S.

Author's Keywords

Epigenetics; Methylation; Salivary; Gland; De-differentiation; Parotid




Background: When rat salivary gland cells are cultured in vitro, they dedifferentiate within 24 h. Hypothesis: Growth factors will prevent de-differentiation of primary cultures of parotid gland cells, and they will induce differentiation of ParC5 cells. DNA methylation drives de-differentiation and the loss of expression in cultured parotid cells. Methods: Rat parotid glands were collected and cultured in media using different combinations of growth factors. DNA was evaluated for methylation at various time points. Results: No media tested prevented the de-differentiation of parotid cells, and none induced differentiation of ParC5 cells. Limited variation in methylation of CpG sites was seen. Conclusion: Growth factors do not prevent de-differentiation in primary cell culture, nor do they activate differentiation in ParC5 cells. Global methylation of Mist1 does not cause de-differentiation; evidence supports that methylation of PSP increases over time.