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Dental pulp stem cells (DPSCs) are shown to reside within the tooth and play an important role in dentin regeneration.
DPSCs were first isolated and characterized from human teeth and most studies have focused on using this adult stem cell
for clinical applications. Herein we report that murine DPSCs are neural crest derived with great capacity to differentiate into
multiple lineages. DPSCs from neonatal murine tooth pulp expressed embryonic stem cell and neural crest related genes, but
lacked expression of mesodermal genes. Cells isolated from the
model, a reporter of neural crest-derived
tissues, indicated that DPSCs were
marked and therefore of neural crest origin. Clonal DPSCs showed multi-differentiation
in neural crest lineage for odontoblasts, chondrocytes, adipocytes, neurons, and smooth muscles. Following in vivo subcutaneous
transplantation with hydroxyapatite/tricalcium phosphate, based on tissue/cell morphology and specific antibody staining, the
clones differentiated into odontoblast-like cells and produced dentin-like structure. Conversely, bone marrow stromal cells
(BMSCs) gave rise to osteoblast-like cells and generated bone-like structure. Interestingly, the capillary distribution in the
DPSC transplants showed close proximity to odontoblasts whereas in the BMSC transplants bone condensations were distant
to capillaries resembling dentinogenesis in the former vs. osteogenesis in the latter. We then study the capacity of DPSCs to
induce endogenous vessel formation in matigel plugs and determine that DPSCs exhibit greater angiogenic capacity than BMSCs.
Furthermore, we determine that the angiogenic capacity of DPSCs is VEGF-dependent. Thus we demonstrate the existence of
neural crest-derived DPSCs with differentiation capacity into cranial mesenchymal tissues and other neural crest-derived tissues.
In turn, DPSCs hold promise as a source for regenerating cranial mesenchyme and other neural crest derived tissues.
Morayma Reyes has received her MD/PhD degree from University of Minnesota in 2003.She has published more than 20 papers in reputed journals
and is serving as an editorial board member and reviewer of reputed journals. She has been nominated and awarded multiple Junior Faculty Awards.
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