Pulp Stem Cells: Implication in Reparative Dentin Formation


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Abstract

Many dental pulp stem cells are neural crest derivatives essential for lifelong maintenance of tooth functions and homeostasis as well as tooth repair. These cells may be directly implicated in the healing process or indirectly involved in cell-to-cell diffusion of paracrine messages to resident (pulpoblasts) or nonresident cells (migrating mesenchymal cells). The identity of the pulp progenitors and the mechanisms sustaining their regenerative capacity remain largely unknown. Taking advantage of the A4 cell line, a multipotent stem cell derived from the molar pulp of mouse embryo, we investigated the capacity of these pulp-derived precursors to induce in vivo the formation of a reparative dentin-like structure upon implantation within the pulp of a rodent incisor or a first maxillary molar after surgical exposure. One month after the pulp injury alone, a nonmineralized fibrous matrix filled the mesial part of the coronal pulp chamber. Upon A4 cell implantation, a mineralized osteodentin was formed in the implantation site without affecting the structure and vitality of the residual pulp in the central and distal parts of the pulp chamber. These results show that dental pulp stem cells can induce the formation of reparative dentin and therefore constitute a useful tool for pulp therapies. Finally, reparative dentin was also built up when A4 progenitors were performed by alginate beads, suggesting that alginate is a suitable carrier for cell implantation in teeth.

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