Dental pulp–derived stem cells (DPSCs) have the potential to regenerate dentin and dental pulp tissue because of their differentiation capacity and angiogenic properties. However, for regenerative approaches to gain regulatory and clinical acceptance, protocols are needed to determine more feasible ways to cultivate DPSCs, namely, without the use of xenogeneic-derived components (animal sera) and exogenous growth factors.Methods
In this study, human DPSCs were isolated from third molars and expanded in standard culture conditions containing fetal bovine serum (DPSCs-FBS) or conditions containing human serum (DPSCs-HS). After cell characterization and evaluation of their angiogenic secretome, DPSCs were seeded in tooth slice/scaffolds and implanted subcutaneously into immunodeficient mice. After 30 days, tooth slices were retrieved and evaluated for dental pulp tissue regeneration. Immunohistochemistry and confocal microscopy were used to quantify blood vessel formation and evaluate predentin and dentin formation.Results
After culture, DPSCs-HS produced concentrations of angiogenic growth factors equivalent to DPSCs-FBS. Additionally, in DPSCs-HS, several angiogenic factors were produced in at least 1-fold higher concentrations than in DPSCs-FBS. In vivo, it was determined that DPSCs-HS produced a robust angiogenic response and regeneration of dentin equivalent to DPSCs-FBS.Conclusions
These findings show that DPSCs can be isolated and expanded to clinical scale numbers in media devoid of animal serum or exogenous growth factors and still maintain their pulp regenerative properties. The implications of these findings are significant for further development of clinical protocols using DPSCs in cell therapies.