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PUBLISHED RESEARCH 2008


Tooth-forming potential in embryonic and postnatal tooth bud cells.
Honda MJ, Fong H, Iwatsuki S, Sumita Y, Sarikaya M.
Med Mol Morphol
2008 Dec;41(4):183-92
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Humans are genetically programmed to replace their teeth once during childhood. Therefore, when adult teeth are lost or damaged, they cannot be regenerated or regrown. However, with the advancement of stem cell biology and tissue engineering, regenerating the whole tooth has become a realistic and attractive option to replace a lost or damaged tooth, and therefore has strongly attracted attention in the field of dental research. During the past several years, significant progress has been made in this research endeavor, providing greater understanding of the production of an entire biological tooth by tissue engineering using stem cells. There are several ways to reproduce an entire biological tooth. Approaches are categorized according to the cell sources that have the potential to produce teeth. One source is the embryonic tooth bud, and the other is the postnatal tooth bud. The results from embryonic and postnatal tooth buds differ considerably. In particular, the potential to regulate the shape of the tooth crown from embryonic tooth bud is higher than from postnatal tooth bud. This article describes the achievements to date in production of biological teeth, mostly from our laboratory. In particular, we describe the potential to produce teeth from embryonic and postnatal tooth buds.


Regenerating dentistry: the new realm of stem cells.
Murray P, Pocock N.
Todays FDA
2008 Oct;20(10):35-6
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not available


Whole-tooth regeneration: it takes a village of scientists, clinicians, and patients.
Snead ML.
J Dent Educ
2008 Aug;72(8):903-11
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A team of senior scientists was formed in 2006 to create a blueprint for the regeneration of whole human teeth along with all of the supporting structure of the dentition. The team included experts from diverse fields, each with a reputation for stellar accomplishment. Participants attacked the scientific issues of tooth regeneration but, more importantly, each agreed to work collaboratively with experts from other disciplines to form a learning organization. A commitment to learn from one another produced a unique interdisciplinary and multidisciplinary team. Inspired by the Kennedy space program to send a man to the moon, with its myriad of problems and solutions that no one discipline could solve, this tooth regeneration team devised an ambitious plan that sought to use stem cell biology, engineering, and computational biology to replicate the developmental program for odontogenesis. In this manner, team members envisioned a solution that consisted of known or knowable fundamentals. They proposed a laboratory-grown tooth rudiment that would be capable of executing the complete program for odontogenesis when transplanted to a suitable host, recreating all of the dental tissues, periodontal ligament, cementum, and alveolar bone associated with the canonical tooth. This plan was designed to bring regenerative medicine fully into the dental surgery suite, although a lack of funding has so far prevented the plan from being carried out.


Self-assembling peptide amphiphile nanofibers as a scaffold for dental stem cells.
Galler KM, Cavender A, Yuwono V, Dong H, Shi S, Schmalz G, Hartgerink JD, D'Souza RN.
Tissue Eng Part A
2008 Dec;14(12):2051-8
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Dental caries remains one of the most prevalent infectious diseases in the world. So far, available treatment methods rely on the replacement of decayed soft and mineralized tissue with inert biomaterials alone. As an approach to develop novel regenerative strategies and engineer dental tissues, two dental stem cell lines were combined with peptide-amphiphile (PA) hydrogel scaffolds. PAs self-assemble into three-dimensional networks of nanofibers, and living cells can be encapsulated. Cell-matrix interactions were tailored by incorporation of the cell adhesion sequence RGD and an enzyme-cleavable site. SHED (stem cells from human exfoliated deciduous teeth) and DPSC (dental pulp stem cells) were cultured in PA hydrogels for 4 weeks using different osteogenic supplements. Both cell lines proliferate and differentiate within the hydrogels. Histologic analysis shows degradation of the gels and extracellular matrix production. However, distinct differences between the two cell lines can be observed. SHED show a spindle-shaped morphology, high proliferation rates, and collagen production, resulting in soft tissue formation. In contrast, DPSC reduce proliferation, but exhibit an osteoblast-like phenotype, express osteoblast marker genes, and deposit mineral. Since the hydrogels are easy to handle and can be introduced into small defects, this novel system might be suitable for engineering both soft and mineralized matrices for dental tissue regeneration.


Dental pulp tissue engineering with stem cells from exfoliated deciduous teeth.
Cordeiro MM, Dong Z, Kaneko T, Zhang Z, Miyazawa M, Shi S, Smith AJ, Nör JE.
J Endod
2008 Aug;34(8):962-9
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Stem cells from human exfoliated deciduous teeth (SHED) have been isolated and characterized as multipotent cells. However, it is not known whether SHED can generate a dental pulp-like tissue in vivo. The purpose of this study was to evaluate morphologic characteristics of the tissue formed when SHED seeded in biodegradable scaffolds prepared within human tooth slices are transplanted into immunodeficient mice. We observed that the resulting tissue presented architecture and cellularity that closely resemble those of a physiologic dental pulp. Ultrastructural analysis with transmission electron microscopy and immunohistochemistry for dentin sialoprotein suggested that SHED differentiated into odontoblast-like cells in vivo. Notably, SHED also differentiated into endothelial-like cells, as demonstrated by B-galactosidase staining of cells lining the walls of blood-containing vessels in tissues engineered with SHED stably transduced with LacZ. This work suggests that exfoliated deciduous teeth constitute a viable source of stem cells for dental pulp tissue engineering.


Human periodontal ligament: a niche of neural crest stem cells.
Coura GS, Garcez RC, de Aguiar CB, Alvarez-Silva M, Magini RS, Trentin AG.
J Periodontal Res
2008 Oct;43(5):531-6
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BACKGROUND AND OBJECTIVE: The periodontal ligament is a specialized connective tissue, derived from dental follicle and originated from neural crest cells. Recently it has been suggested, based on animal models, that periodontal ligament could be a niche for neural crest stem cells. However, there is still little knowledge on this subject. The identification of neural crest adult stem cells has received much attention based on its potential in tissue regeneration. The objective of the present work was to verify the human periodontal ligament as a niche for neural crest stem cells.
MATERIAL AND METHODS: Cells from human periodontal ligament were isolated from 10 teeth of seven individuals (periodontal ligament pool group) and also from four teeth of one individual (periodontal ligament single group), after enzymatic digestion. The cells were cultured in specific inductive medium. Analyses of protein and gene expression were performed through immunocytochemistry and reverse transcription-polymerase chain reaction techniques, respectively.
RESULTS: Mesodermal phenotypes (adipogeneic, osteogenic and myofibroblastic) were identified after culture in inductive medium. Immunocytochemistry analyses showed the presence of the nestin marker of neural stem cells and also markers of undifferentiated neural crest cells (HNK1, p75). When cultured in inductive medium that allowed neural differentiation, the cells showed markers for beta-tubulin III, neurofilament M, peripherin, microtubule-associated protein 2 and protein zero. The results were similar between the two study groups (the periodontal ligament pool group and the periodontal ligament single group).
CONCLUSION: This research provides evidence that human periodontal ligament, in addition to its mesodermal derivatives, produces neural crest-like cells. Such features suggest a recapitulation of their embryonic state. The human periodontal ligament revealed itself as a viable alternative source for possible primitive precursors to be used in stem-cell therapies.


Gene expression of nestin, collagen type I and type III in human dental follicle cells after cultivation in serum-free medium.
Morsczeck C, Ernst W, Florian C, Reichert TE, Proff P, Bauer R, Müller-Richter U, Driemel O.
Oral Maxillofac Surg
2008 Jul;12(2):89-92
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BACKGROUND: Undifferentiated human dental cells and especially human dental follicle cells are interesting for potential dental treatments. These somatic stem cells are cultured usually in cell culture medium containing bovine serum. In the age of bovine spongiform encephalopathy (BSE), a serum-free cell culture system for dental follicle cells are recommended, if these cells will be applied in dentistry.
PURPOSE: However, less is known about the cultivation of dental follicle cells in serum-replacement medium. In this study, we cultivated dental follicle cells in serum-free cell culture medium, which is normally applied for neuronal stem/progenitor cells.
MATERIALS AND METHODS: Dental follicle cells were cultivated in both serum-free and serum-containing cell culture media, and gene expression profiles were recorded for connective tissue markers collagen type I and type III and for the human dental follicle cell marker nestin.
RESULTS: It is interesting to note that the gene expressions of collagens and nestin were similar after applying both cell culture conditions.
CONCLUSION: Although the gene expression of dental follicle cell markers was unchanged, a more appropriate serum-free cell culture medium is recommended for cell proliferation of dental follicle cells.


Inflammatory and immunological aspects of dental pulp repair.
Goldberg M, Farges JC, Lacerda-Pinheiro S, Six N, Jegat N, Decup F, Septier D, Carrouel F, Durand S, Chaussain-Miller C, Denbesten P, Veis A, Poliard A.
Pharmacol Res
2008 Aug;58(2):137-47
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The repair of dental pulp by direct capping with calcium hydroxide or by implantation of bioactive extracellular matrix (ECM) molecules implies a cascade of four steps: a moderate inflammation, the commitment of adult reserve stem cells, their proliferation and terminal differentiation. The link between the initial inflammation and cell commitment is not yet well established but appears as a potential key factor in the reparative process. Either the release of cytokines due to inflammatory events activates resident stem (progenitor) cells, or inflammatory cells or pulp fibroblasts undergo a phenotypic conversion into osteoblast/odontoblast-like progenitors implicated in reparative dentin formation. Activation of antigen-presenting dendritic cells by mild inflammatory processes may also promote osteoblast/odontoblast-like differentiation and expression of ECM molecules implicated in mineralization. Recognition of bacteria by specific odontoblast and fibroblast membrane receptors triggers an inflammatory and immune response within the pulp tissue that would also modulate the repair process.


Early transplantation of human immature dental pulp stem cells from baby teeth to golden retriever muscular dystrophy (GRMD) dogs: Local or systemic?
Kerkis I, Ambrosio CE, Kerkis A, Martins DS, Zucconi E, Fonseca SA, Cabral RM, Maranduba CM, Gaiad TP, Morini AC, Vieira NM, Brolio MP, Sant'Anna OA, Miglino MA, Zatz M.
J Transl Med
2008 Jul 3;6:35
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BACKGROUND: The golden retriever muscular dystrophy (GRMD) dogs represent the best available animal model for therapeutic trials aiming at the future treatment of human Duchenne muscular dystrophy (DMD). We have obtained a rare litter of six GRMD dogs (3 males and 3 females) born from an affected male and a carrier female which were submitted to a therapeutic trial with adult human stem cells to investigate their capacity to engraft into dogs muscles by local as compared to systemic injection without any immunosuppression.
METHODS: Human Immature Dental Pulp Stem Cells (hIDPSC) were transplanted into 4 littermate dogs aged 28 to 40 days by either arterial or muscular injections. Two non-injected dogs were kept as controls. Clinical translation effects were analyzed since immune reactions by blood exams and physical scores capacity of each dog. Samples from biopsies were checked by immunohistochemistry (dystrophin markers) and FISH for human probes.
RESULTS AND DISCUSSION: We analyzed the cells' ability in respect to migrate, engraftment, and myogenic potential, and the expression of human dystrophin in affected muscles. Additionally, the efficiency of single and consecutive early transplantation was compared. Chimeric muscle fibers were detected by immunofluorescence and fluorescent in situ hybridisation (FISH) using human antibodies and X and Y DNA probes. No signs of immune rejection were observed and these results suggested that hIDPSC cell transplantation may be done without immunosuppression. We showed that hIDPSC presented significant engraftment in GRMD dog muscles, although human dystrophin expression was modest and limited to several muscle fibers. Better clinical condition was also observed in the dog, which received monthly arterial injections and is still clinically stable at 25 months of age.
CONCLUSION: Our data suggested that systemic multiple deliveries seemed more effective than local injections. These findings open important avenues for further researches.


A novel stem cell source for vasculogenesis in ischemia: subfraction of side population cells from dental pulp.
Iohara K, Zheng L, Wake H, Ito M, Nabekura J, Wakita H, Nakamura H, Into T, Matsushita K, Nakashima M.
Stem Cells
2008 Sep;26(9):2408-18
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Cell therapy with stem cells and endothelial progenitor cells (EPCs) to stimulate vasculogenesis as a potential treatment for ischemic disease is an exciting area of research in regenerative medicine. EPCs are present in bone marrow, peripheral blood, and adipose tissue. Autologous EPCs, however, are obtained by invasive biopsy, a potentially painful procedure. An alternative approach is proposed in this investigation. Permanent and deciduous pulp tissue is easily available from teeth after extraction without ethical issues and has potential for clinical use. We isolated a highly vasculogenic subfraction of side population (SP) cells based on CD31 and CD146, from dental pulp. The CD31(-);CD146(-) SP cells, demonstrating CD34+ and vascular endothelial growth factor-2 (VEGFR2)/Flk1+, were similar to EPCs. These cells were distinct from the hematopoietic lineage as CD11b, CD14, and CD45 mRNA were not expressed. They showed high proliferation and migration activities and multilineage differentiation potential including vasculogenic potential. In models of mouse hind limb ischemia, local transplantation of this subfraction of SP cells resulted in successful engraftment and an increase in the blood flow including high density of capillary formation. The transplanted cells were in proximity of the newly formed vasculature and expressed several proangiogenic factors, such as VEGF-A, G-CSF, GM-CSF, and MMP3. Conditioned medium from this subfraction showed the mitogenic and antiapoptotic activity on human umbilical vein endothelial cells. In conclusion, subfraction of SP cells from dental pulp is a new stem cell source for cell-based therapy to stimulate angiogenesis/vasculogenesis during tissue regeneration.


Comparison between genetic portraits of osteoblasts derived from primary cultures and osteoblasts obtained from human pulpar stem cells.
Carinci F, Papaccio G, Laino G, Palmieri A, Brunelli G, D'Aquino R, Graziano A, Lanza V, Scapoli L, Martinelli M, Pezzetti F.
J Craniofac Surg
2008 May;19(3):616-25; discussion 626-7
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Harvesting bone for autologous grafting is a daily problem encountered by craniofacial and oral surgeons. Stem cells derived from human dental pulp are able to differentiate in osteoblasts and are a potential source of autologous bone produced in vitro. However, as stem cells are characterized by self-renewing and commitment in several cellular subtypes (ie, pluripotential differentiation), some concerns may arise as regards their potential uncontrolled proliferation. To screen the behavior of osteoblasts derived from human pulpar stem cells (ODHPSCs), we used microarray techniques to identify genes that are differently regulated in ODHPSC in comparison to normal osteoblasts (NOs). Osteoblasts derived from human pulpar stem cells were obtained from human dental pulp, and cells were selected using a cytometer. The cell profile was c-kit+/CD34+/STRO-1+/CD45-. These cells were capable of differentiation of osteoblasts in vitro. By using DNA microarrays containing 19,200 genes, we identified in ODHPSC some genes whose expression was significantly up- and downregulated compared to NO. The differentially expressed genes have different functional activities: (a) cell differentiation, (b) developmental maturation, (c) cell adhesion, and (d) production of cytoskeleton elements. Thus, some molecular differences exist between NO and ODHPSC, although the previously considered histologic parameters show a normal phenotype.


Adult human dental pulp stem cells differentiate toward functionally active neurons under appropriate environmental cues.
Arthur A, Rychkov G, Shi S, Koblar SA, Gronthos S.
Stem Cells
2008 Jul;26(7):1787-95
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Human adult dental pulp stem cells (DPSCs) reside within the perivascular niche of dental pulp and are thought to originate from migrating cranial neural crest (CNC) cells. During embryonic development, CNC cells differentiate into a wide variety of cell types, including neurons of the peripheral nervous system. Previously, we have demonstrated that DPSCs derived from adult human third molar teeth differentiate into cell types reminiscent of CNC embryonic ontology. We hypothesized that DPSCs exposed to the appropriate environmental cues would differentiate into functionally active neurons. The data demonstrated that ex vivo-expanded human adult DPSCs responded to neuronal inductive conditions both in vitro and in vivo. Human adult DPSCs, but not human foreskin fibroblasts (HFFs), acquired a neuronal morphology, and expressed neuronal-specific markers at both the gene and protein levels. Culture-expanded DPSCs also exhibited the capacity to produce a sodium current consistent with functional neuronal cells when exposed to neuronal inductive media. Furthermore, the response of human DPSCs and HFFs to endogenous neuronal environmental cues was determined in vivo using an avian xenotransplantation assay. DPSCs expressed neuronal markers and acquired a neuronal morphology following transplantation into the mesencephalon of embryonic day-2 chicken embryo, whereas HFFs maintained a thin spindle fibroblastic morphology. We propose that adult human DPSCs provide a readily accessible source of exogenous stem/precursor cells that have the potential for use in cell-therapeutic paradigms to treat neurological disease.


The hidden treasure in apical papilla: the potential role in pulp/dentin regeneration and bioroot engineering.
Huang GT, Sonoyama W, Liu Y, Liu H, Wang S, Shi S.
J Endod
2008 Jun;34(6):645-51
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Some clinical case reports have shown that immature permanent teeth with periradicular periodontitis or abscess can undergo apexogenesis after conservative endodontic treatment. A call for a paradigm shift and new protocol for the clinical management of these cases has been brought to attention. Concomitantly, a new population of mesenchymal stem cells residing in the apical papilla of permanent immature teeth recently has been discovered and was termed stem cells from the apical papilla (SCAP). These stem cells appear to be the source of odontoblasts that are responsible for the formation of root dentin. Conservation of these stem cells when treating immature teeth may allow continuous formation of the root to completion. This article reviews current findings on the isolation and characterization of these stem cells. The potential role of these stem cells in the following respects will be discussed: (1) their contribution in continued root maturation in endodontically treated immature teeth with periradicular periodontitis or abscess and (2) their potential utilization for pulp/dentin regeneration and bioroot engineering.


Stem cells and the future of dental care.
Mao JJ.
N Y State Dent J
2008 Mar;74(2):20-4
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What are stem cells? As dentists, why should we be concerned with stem cells? How would stem cells change dental practice? Is it possible to grow a tooth or TMJ with stem cells? This article summarizes the latest stem cell research and development for dental, oral and craniofacial applications. Stem cell research and development will, over time, transform dental practice in a magnitude far greater than did amalgam or dental implants. Metallic alloys, composites and even titanium implants are not permanent solutions. In contrast, stem cell technology will generate native tissue analogs that are compatible with the patient's own.


Postnatal stem/progenitor cells derived from the dental pulp of adult chimpanzee.
Cheng PH, Snyder B, Fillos D, Ibegbu CC, Huang AH, Chan AW.
BMC Cell Biol
2008 Apr 22;9:20
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BACKGROUND: Chimpanzee dental pulp stem/stromal cells (ChDPSCs) are very similar to human bone marrow derived mesenchymal stem/stromal cells (hBMSCs) as demonstrated by the expression pattern of cell surface markers and their multipotent differentiation capability.
RESULTS: ChDPSCs were isolated from an incisor and a canine of a forty-seven year old female chimpanzee. A homogenous population of ChDPSCs was established in early culture at a high proliferation rate and verified by the expression pattern of thirteen cell surface markers. The ChDPSCs are multipotent and were capable of differentiating into osteogenic, adipogenic and chondrogenic lineages under appropriate in vitro culture conditions. ChDPSCs also express stem cell (Sox-2, Nanog, Rex-1, Oct-4) and osteogenic (Osteonectin, osteocalcin, osteopontin) markers, which is comparable to reported results of rhesus monkey BMSCs (rBMSCs), hBMSCs and hDPSCs. Although ChDPSCs vigorously proliferated during the initial phase and gradually decreased in subsequent passages, the telomere length indicated that telomerase activity was not significantly reduced.
CONCLUSION: These results demonstrate that ChDPSCs can be efficiently isolated from post-mortem teeth of adult chimpanzees and are multipotent. Due to the almost identical genome composition of humans and chimpanzees, there is an emergent need for defining the new role of chimpanzee modeling in comparative medicine. Teeth are easy to recover at necropsy and easy to preserve prior to the retrieval of dental pulp for stem/stromal cells isolation. Therefore, the establishment of ChDPSCs would preserve and maximize the applications of such a unique and invaluable animal model, and could advance the understanding of cellular functions and differentiation control of adult stem cells in higher primates.


A paradigm shift in endodontic management of immature teeth: conservation of stem cells for regeneration.
Huang GT.
J Dent
2008 Jun;36(6):379-86
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OBJECTIVE: This article will review the new concept of regenerative endodontics in the management of immature permanent teeth. The potential role of stem cells to regenerate immature permanent teeth after conservative treatment will be discussed.
DATA AND SOURCES: Two sets of data source are focused in this review: (i) the characterization of various dental stem cells discovered since 2000 and (ii) recent clinical case reports showing that after conservative treatment, severely infected immature teeth with periradicular periodontitis and abscess can undergo healing and apexogenesis or maturogenesis.
RESULTS: A new protocol of treating endodontically involved immature permanent teeth based on published articles to date is summarized in the review. The key procedures of the protocol are (1) minimal or no instrumentation of the canal while relying on a gentle but thorough irrigation of the canal system, (2) the disinfection is augmented with intra-canal medication of a triple-antibiotic paste between appointments, and (3) the treated tooth is sealed with mineral trioxide aggregate (MTA) and glass ionomer/resin cement at the completion of the treatment. Periodical follow-ups will take place to observe any continued maturation of the root.
CONCLUSION: While more clinical research is needed, regenerative endodontics promotes a paradigm shift in treating endodontically involved immature permanent teeth from performing apexification procedures to conserving any dental stem cells that might remain in the disinfected viable tissues to allow tissue regeneration and repair to achieve apexogenesis/maturogenesis.


Human dental pulp stem cells differentiate into neural crest-derived melanocytes and have label-retaining and sphere-forming abilities.
Stevens A, Zuliani T, Olejnik C, LeRoy H, Obriot H, Kerr-Conte J, Formstecher P, Bailliez Y, Polakowska RR.
Stem Cells Dev
2008 Dec;17(6):1175-84
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Adult tissues contain highly proliferative, clonogenic cells that meet criteria of multipotent stem cells and are potential sources for autologous reparative and reconstructive medicine. We demonstrated that human dental pulp contains self renewing human dental pulp stem cells (hDPSCs) capable of differentiating into mesenchymal-derived odontoblasts, osteoblasts, adipocytes, and chondrocytes and striated muscle, and interestingly, also into non-mesenchymal melanocytes. Furthermore, we showed that hDPSC cultures include cells with the label-retaining and sphere-forming abilities, traits attributed to multipotent stem cells, and provide evidence that these may be multipotent neural crest stem cells.


An ultrastructural investigation of tissue-engineered pulp constructs implanted within endodontically treated teeth.
Gotlieb EL, Murray PE, Namerow KN, Kuttler S, Garcia-Godoy F.
J Am Dent Assoc
2008 Apr;139(4):457-65
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BACKGROUND: The authors conducted an ultrastructural scanning electron microscopic (SEM) investigation of tissue-engineered pulp constructs implanted within endodontically treated teeth.
METHODS: Stem cells from human exfoliated deciduous teeth were seeded on a synthetic open-cell D,D-L,L-polylactic acid scaffold with or without the addition of bone morphogenic protein-2 and transforming growth factor beta1 to create pulp tissue constructs. The pulp constructs were implanted into 105 extracted human premolar teeth with a single root canal that had been cleaned and shaped by using rotary instrumentation in a crown-down manner to ISO size no. 35.
RESULTS: An ultrastructural examination of the SEM micrographs at x2,000 magnification revealed cell adherence within all of the pulp constructs, with little difference between the scaffold types or with the addition of growth factors.
CONCLUSIONS: These results support the proof-of-concept that it is possible to implant tissue-engineered pulp constructs into teeth after cleaning and shaping.
CLINICAL IMPLICATIONS: Future regenerative endodontic treatment may involve the cleaning and shaping of root canals followed by the implantation of vital dental pulp tissue constructs created in the laboratory.


Defining properties of neural crest-derived progenitor cells from the apex of human developing tooth.
Degistirici O, Jaquiery C, Schönebeck B, Siemonsmeier J, Götz W, Martin I, Thie M.
Tissue Eng Part A
2008 Feb;14(2):317-30
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The connective tissue of the human tooth arises from cells that are derived from the cranial neural crest and, thus, are termed as "ectomesenchymal cells." Here, cells being located in a pad-like tissue adjacent to the apex of the developing tooth, which we designated the third molar pad, were separated by the microexplant technique. When outgrowing from the explant, dental neural crest-derived progenitor cells (dNC-PCs) adhered to plastic, proliferated steadily, and displayed a fibroblast-like morphology. At the mRNA level, dNC-PCs expressed neural crest marker genes like Sox9, Snail1, Snail2, Twist1, Msx2, and Dlx6. Cytofluorometric analysis indicated that cells were positive for CD49d (alpha4 integrin), CD56 (NCAM), and PDGFRalpha, while negative for CD31, CD34, CD45, and STRO-1. dNC-PCs could be differentiated into neurogenic, chondrogenic, and osteogenic lineages and were shown to produce bone matrix in athymic mice. These results demonstrate that human third molar pad possesses neural crest-derived cells that represent multipotent stem/progenitor cells. As a rather large amount of dNC-PCs could be obtained from each single third molar, cells may be used to regenerate a wide range of tissues within the craniofacial region of humans.


Isolation and characterization of dental pulp stem cells from a supernumerary tooth.
Huang AH, Chen YK, Lin LM, Shieh TY, Chan AW.
J Oral Pathol Med
2008 Oct;37(9):571-4
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BACKGROUND: Dental pulp stem cells (DPSCs) were primarily derived from the pulp tissues of primary incisors and permanent third molar teeth, whereas no report to our knowledge has yet been documented on deriving DPSCs from the other tooth types. The aim of this study is to present a novel approach of harvesting stem cells from a supernumerary tooth (a mesiodens).
MATERIALS AND METHODS: The pulp tissues from a mesiodens of a 20-year-old healthy male patient and the left lower deciduous canine of a healthy 10-year-old boy (the positive control) were extracted and cultured for DPSCs, which were examined with stem cells (Oct-4, Nanog and Rex-1) and differentiation (Osteonectin and Nestin) markers. Furthermore, DPSCs were directionally differentiated to osteogenic and adipogenic cell lineages.
RESULTS: Dental pulp stem cells derived from the mesiodens were capable of differentiating into adipogenic and osteogenic lineages. The mesioden's DPSCs also expressed stem cell and differentiation markers, which suggested their stem cell origin and differentiation capability. All the aforementioned results for the mesiodens were consistent with those of the DPSCs derived from the positive control.
CONCLUSION: We have demonstrated the feasibility of deriving DPSCs from a usually discarded tissue such as a supernumerary tooth.


Dental pulp stem cells: a promising tool for bone regeneration.
Graziano A, d'Aquino R, Laino G, Papaccio G.
Stem Cell Rev
2008 Spring;4(1):21-6
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Human tissues are different in term of regenerative properties. Stem cells are a promising tool for tissue regeneration, thanks to their particular characteristics of proliferation, differentiation and plasticity. Several "loci" or "niches" within the adult human body are colonized by a significant number of stem cells. However, access to these potential collection sites often is a limiting point. The interaction with biomaterials is a further point that needs to be considered for the therapeutic use of stem cells. Dental pulp stem cells (DPSCs) have been demonstrated to answer all of these issues: access to the collection site of these cells is easy and produces very low morbidity; extraction of stem cells from pulp tissue is highly efficiency; they have an extensive differentiation ability; and the demonstrated interactivity with biomaterials makes them ideal for tissue reconstruction. SBP-DPSCs are a multipotent stem cell subpopulation of DPSCs which are able to differentiate into osteoblasts, synthesizing 3D woven bone tissue chips in vitro and that are capable to synergically differentiate into osteoblasts and endotheliocytes. Several studied have been performed on DPSCs and they mainly found that these cells are multipotent stromal cells that can be safety cryopreserved, used with several scaffolds, that can extensively proliferate, have a long lifespan and build in vivo an adult bone with Havers channels and an appropriate vascularization. A definitive proof of their ability to produce dentin has not been yet done. Interestingly, they seem to possess immunoprivileges as they can be grafted into allogenic tissues and seem to exert anti-inflammatory abilities, like many other mesenchymal stem cells. The easy management of dental pulp stem cells make them feasible for use in clinical trials on human patients.


Regenerative potential of human periodontal ligament derived stem cells on three-dimensional biomaterials: a morphological report.
Trubiani O, Orsini G, Zini N, Di Iorio D, Piccirilli M, Piattelli A, Caputi S.
J Biomed Mater Res A
2008 Dec 15;87(4):986-93
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Recent studies have shown that mesenchymal stem cells obtained from periodontal ligament (PDL-MSCs) are multipotent cells that have similar features of the bone marrow and dental pulp MSCs and are capable of proliferating and producing different types of tissue such as bone and tooth associated-tissues. Human PDL-MSCs expanded ex vivo were induced to osteogenesis, seeded in three-dimensional biocompatible scaffolds (fibrin sponge, bovine-derived substitutes) and examined using light, scanning and transmission electron microscopy. Morphological observations showed extensive growth of cellular biomass partially covering the scaffolds after 4 weeks of incubation in mineralization medium. These findings indicate that periodontal ligament can be an easily and efficient autologous source of stem cells with a high expansion capacity and ability to differentiate in osteogenic cells that can colonize and grow connected to bio-compatible scaffold. It can be suggested that the use of PDL-MSCs for generating graft biomaterials is advantageous for bone tissue engineering in regenerative dentistry. 2008 Wiley Periodicals, Inc.


Characterisation of human dental stem cells and buccal mucosa fibroblasts.
Lindroos B, Mäenpää K, Ylikomi T, Oja H, Suuronen R, Miettinen S.
Biochem Biophys Res Commun
2008 Apr 4;368(2):329-35
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Human craniofacial stem cells are recently discovered sources of putative mesenchymal stem cells that hold great promise for autogenic or allogenic cell therapy and tissue engineering. Prior to employing these cells in clinical applications, they must be thoroughly investigated and characterized. In this study, the surface marker expression was investigated on dental pulp stem cells (DPSCs), dental follicle cells (DFCs), periodontal ligament stem cells (PDLSCs), and buccal mucosa fibroblasts (BMFs) utilising surface markers for flow cytometry. The osteogenic potential was also examined by bone-associated markers alkaline phosphatase, Runx2, collagen type I, osteocalcin, and osteopontin. The results from our study demonstrate that the dental cell sources exhibit comparable surface marker and bone-associated marker profiles parallel to those of other mesenchymal stem cell sources, yet distinct from the buccal mucosa fibroblasts. Our data support evidence towards clinical applicability of dental stem cells in hard tissue regeneration.


Somatic stem cells for regenerative dentistry.
Morsczeck C, Schmalz G, Reichert TE, Völlner F, Galler K, Driemel O.
Clin Oral Investig
2008 Jun;12(2):113-8
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Complex human tissues harbour stem cells and/or precursor cells, which are responsible for tissue development or repair. Recently, dental tissues such as periodontal ligament (PDL), dental papilla or dental follicle have been identified as easily accessible sources of undifferentiated cells. The dental stem cell biology might provide meaningful insights into the development of dental tissues and cellular differentiation processes. Dental stem cells could also be feasible tools for dental tissue engineering. Constructing complex structures like a periodontium, which provides the functional connection between a tooth or an implant and the surrounding jaw, could effectively improve modern dentistry. Dental precursor cells are attractive for novel approaches to treat diseases like periodontitis, dental caries or to improve dental pulp healing and the regeneration of craniofacial bone and teeth. These cells are easily accessible and, in contrast to bone-marrow-derived mesenchymal stem cells, are more closely related to dental tissues. This review gives a short overview of stem cells of dental origin.


Human dental pulp stem cells improve left ventricular function, induce angiogenesis, and reduce infarct size in rats with acute myocardial infarction.
Gandia C, Armiñan A, García-Verdugo JM, Lledó E, Ruiz A, Miñana MD, Sanchez-Torrijos J, Payá R, Mirabet V, Carbonell-Uberos F, Llop M, Montero JA, Sepúlveda P.
Stem Cells
2008 Mar;26(3):638-45
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Human dental pulp contains precursor cells termed dental pulp stem cells (DPSC) that show self-renewal and multilineage differentiation and also secrete multiple proangiogenic and antiapoptotic factors. To examine whether these cells could have therapeutic potential in the repair of myocardial infarction (MI), DPSC were infected with a retrovirus encoding the green fluorescent protein (GFP) and expanded ex vivo. Seven days after induction of myocardial infarction by coronary artery ligation, 1.5 x 10(6) GFP-DPSC were injected intramyocardially in nude rats. At 4 weeks, cell-treated animals showed an improvement in cardiac function, observed by percentage changes in anterior wall thickening left ventricular fractional area change, in parallel with a reduction in infarct size. No histologic evidence was seen of GFP+ endothelial cells, smooth muscle cells, or cardiac muscle cells within the infarct. However, angiogenesis was increased relative to control-treated animals. Taken together, these data suggest that DPSC could provide a novel alternative cell population for cardiac repair, at least in the setting of acute MI.



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