The identification of putative multi-potential dental stem cell populations, capable of regenerating organized tooth structures, has stimulated interest into the potential use of postnatal stem cell-based therapies to treat the damage caused by trauma, cancer, and caries. Dental pulp tissue is obtained principally from impacted third molars or exfoliated deciduous teeth which are then subjected to enzymatic digestion to generate single cell suspensions. A minor proportion of dental pulp cells demonstrate the capacity to form clonogenic clusters of cells, where the progeny of some of these colonies exhibit similar characteristics attributed to bone marrow-derived mesenchymal stem cells. Xenogeneic transplant studies, assessing the developmental potential of dental pulp-derived stem/progenitors cells, have shown that these cells have the capacity to generate a vascularized dentin-pulp-like tissue in vivo, with distinct odontoblast layers lining the mineralized dentin matrix. Furthermore, ex vivo expanded dental-derived stem/progenitors cells express a heterogeneous assortment of markers associated with mesenchymal stem cells, dentin, bone, smooth muscle, neural tissue, and endothelium. This chapter describes the current evidence that multipotential mesenchymal stem cell-like populations are associated with postnatal dental pulp tissues, and speculates on the future clinical benefits that may arise from these studies.
|Title of host publication||Stem Cell Biology and Tissue Engineering in Dental Sciences|
|Number of pages||11|
|Publication status||Published or Issued - 1 Jan 2015|
- Dental pulp
- Mesenchymal stem cells
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Biochemistry, Genetics and Molecular Biology(all)