Characterization of Coronal Pulp Cells and Radicular Pulp Cells in Human Teeth

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Dental pulp has garnered much attention as an easily accessible postnatal tissue source of high-quality mesenchymal stem cells (MSCs). Since the discovery of dental pulp stem cells (DPSCs) in permanent third molars, stem cells from human exfoliated deciduous teeth and from supernumerary teeth (mesiodentes) have been identified as a population distinct from DPSCs. Dental pulp is divided into 2 parts based on the developing stage: the coronal pulp and the radicular pulp. Root formation begins after the crown part is completed. We performed a sequential study to examine the differences between the characteristics of coronal pulp cells (CPCs) and radicular pulp cells (RPCs) from permanent teeth, mesiodentes, and deciduous teeth. Interestingly, although we have not obtained any data on the difference between CPCs and RPCs in permanent teeth, there are some differences between the characteristics of CPCs and RPCs from mesiodentes and deciduous teeth. The MSC characteristics differed between the RPCs and CPCs, and the reprogramming efficiency for the generation of induced pluripotent stem cells was greater in RPCs than in CPCs from deciduous teeth. The proportion of CD105+ cells in CPCs versus that in RPCs varied in mesiodentes but not in permanent teeth. The results indicate that the proportion of CD105+ cells is an effective means of characterizing dental pulp cells in mesiodentes. Taken together, the stem cells in deciduous and supernumerary teeth share many characteristics, such as a high proliferation rate and an immunophenotype similar to that of DPSCs. Thus, mesiodentes accidentally encountered on radiographs by the general dental practitioner might be useful for stem cell therapy.

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