Putative stem cells in regenerating human periodontium

N. H. Lin, D. Menicanin, K. Mrozik, S. Gronthos, P. M. Bartold

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

43 Citations (Scopus)


Background and Objective: Human postnatal stem cells have been identified in periodontal ligament, with the potential to regenerate the periodontium in vivo. However, it is unclear if periodontal ligament stem cells are present in regenerating periodontal tissues. The aim of this study was to identify and localize putative stem cells in block biopsies and explant cultures of regenerating human periodontal tissues. Material and Methods: Guided tissue regeneration was carried out on the molars of three human volunteers. After 6 wk, the teeth with the surrounding regenerating tissues and bone were surgically removed and processed for immunohistochemistry. The mesenchymal stem cell-associated markers STRO-1, CD146 and CD44 were used to identify putative stem cells. Cell cultures established from regenerating tissue explants were analysed by flow cytometry to assess the expression of these markers. Mineralization, calcium concentration and adipogenic potential of regenerating tissue cells were assessed and compared with periodontal ligament stem cells, bone marrow stromal stem cells and gingival fibroblasts. Results: STRO-1 +, CD44+ and CD146+ cells were identified in the regenerating tissues. They were found mainly in the paravascular and extravascular regions. Flow cytometry revealed that cultured regenerating tissue cells expressed all three mesenchymal stem cell associated markers. The regenerating tissue cells were able to form mineral deposits and lipid-containing adipocytes. However, the level of mineralization in these cells was lower than that of periodontal ligament stem cells and bone marrow stromal stem cells. Conclusion: Cells with characteristics of putative mesenchymal stem cells were found in regenerating periodontal tissues, implying their involvement in periodontal regeneration.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)514-523
Number of pages10
JournalJournal of periodontal research
Issue number5
Publication statusPublished - 1 Oct 2008


  • Periodontal disease
  • Periodontal ligament stem cells
  • Periodontal regeneration

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Periodontics

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