Dental pulp stem cells (DPSCs) are a unique precursor population isolated from post-natal human dental pulp and have the ability to regenerate a reparative dentin-like complex. Canonical Wnt signaling plays a critical role in tooth development and stem cell self-renewal through β-catenin. In this study, the regulation of odontoblast-like differentiation of DPSCs by canonical Wnt signaling was examined. DPSCs were stably transduced with canonical Wnt-1 or the active form of β-catenin, with retrovirus-mediated infection. Northern blot analysis found that Wnt-1 strongly induced the expression of matricellular protein osteopontin, and modestly enhanced the expression of type I collagen in DPSCs. Unexpectedly, Wnt-1 inhibited alkaline phosphatase (ALP) activity and the formation of mineralized nodules in DPSCs. Moreover, over-expression of β-catenin was also sufficient to suppress the differentiation and mineralization of DPSCs. In conclusion, our results suggest that canonical Wnt signaling negatively regulates the odontoblast-like differentiation of DPSCs.
Wnt; mineralization; stem cell; dental pulp; osteopontin
Residing within human dental pulp are cells of an ectomesenchymal origin that have the potential to differentiate into odontoblast-like cells. These cells have a limited growth potential owing to the effects of cell senescence. This study examines the effects of immortalizing odontoblast-like cells on cell proliferation and mineralization by comparing transformed dental pulp stem cells (tDPSCs) and non-transformed dental pulp stem cells (nDPSCs).
With the exogenous expression of hTERT, tDPSCs maintained a continued expression of odontogenic markers for cell proliferation and mineralization (ALP, COL-1, DMP-1, DSPP, OCN and OPN), as did nDPSCs. Oncoprotein expression was seen in both groups except for a noted absence of p16 in the tDPSCs. nDPSCs also showed lower levels of total ALP and DNA activity in comparison to tDPSCs when assayed, as well as low telomerase activity readings.
Using a retroviral vector, exogenous human telomerase reverse transcriptase (hTERT) was expressed in tDPSCs. Both cell groups were cultured, and their telomerase activities were determined using a telomerase quantification assay. Also examined, were the expression of genes involved in proliferation and mineralization, such as human alkaline phosphatase (ALP), β-actin, collagen I (col-1), core binding factor (cbfa)-1, dentin matrix protein (DMP-1), dentin sialophosphoprotein (DSPP), GAPDH, hTERT, osteocalcin (OCN), osteopontin (OPN) as well as oncoproteins involved in senescence (p16, p21 and p53) using RT-PCR. DNA and alkaline phosphate activity was also assayed in both cell groups.
These results indicate maintenance of odontoblast-like differentiation characteristics after retroviral transformation with hTERT and suggest a possible link with a reduced p16 expression.
dental pulp stem cells; odontoblasts; immortalization; senescence; oncoproteins; cell proliferation; cell mineralization
Human dental pulp stem/progenitor cells (hDPSC) can differentiate into odontoblast-like cells and express dentin sialophosphoprotein (DSPP) and osteocalcin (OCN); thus, they may be used to regenerate dentin. However, residual bacterial components in the root canal may suppress this activity.
This study investigated the effect of a Porphyromonas gingivalis component on the expression of DSPP and OCN by stimulated hDPSCs and the influence of blockade of TLR2-mediated P. gingivalis host recognition.
Stimulated hDPSCs were exposed to varying concentrations of P. gingivalis lipopolysaccharide (LPS), and the expression of DSPP and OCN was measured. Similar groups of stimulated hDPSCs were exposed to TLR2 blocking agents before exposure to LPS.
hDPSCs exposed to 5, 10, and 20 µg/mL LPS exhibited a dose-dependent reduction in the expression of DSPP (3.19 ± 0.18, 2.60 ± 0.49, and 1.15 ± 0.29, respectively) and OCN (3.51 ± 1.18, 2.60 ± 0.67 and 1.66 ± 0.89, respectively). The expression of DSPP and OCN after exposure to 20 µg/mL of LPS was significantly lower than measured for unexposed stimulated cells (analysis of variance and post hoc Tukey test, P < .05). The blockade of TLR2 using an extra- and intracellular agent affected DSPP (4.67 ± 0.97 and 5.29 ± 1.66, respectively) and OCN (5.25 ± 1.69 and 5.82 ± 2.38, respectively) expression at levels comparable to stimulated cells unexposed to 20 µg/mL LPS (6.32 ± 2.47 and 4.70 ± 1.60 for DSPP and OCN, respectively).
The suppressing effect of P. gingivalis on mineralized matrix formation by hDPSCs is confirmed, and this suppression can be moderated by TLR2 blockade.
Dental pulp stem cells; dentin sialophosphoprotein; osteocalcin; Porphyromonas gingivalis; TLR2
An intense stimulus can cause death of odontoblasts and initiate odontoblastic differentiation of stem/progenitor cell populations of dental pulp cells (DPCs), which is followed by reparative dentin formation. However, the mechanism of odontoblastic differentiation during reparative dentin formation remains unclear. This study was to determine the role of β-catenin, a key player in tooth development, in reparative dentin formation, especially in odontoblastic differentiation. We found that β-catenin was expressed in odontoblast-like cells and DPCs beneath the perforation site during reparative dentin formation after direct pulp capping. The expression of β-catenin was also significantly upregulated during odontoblastic differentiation of in vitro cultured DPCs. The expression pattern of runt-related transcription factor 2 (Runx2) was similar to that of β-catenin. Immunofluorescence staining indicated that Runx2 was also expressed in β-catenin–positive odontoblast-like cells and DPCs during reparative dentin formation. Knockdown of β-catenin disrupted odontoblastic differentiation, which was accompanied by a reduction in β-catenin binding to the Runx2 promoter and diminished expression of Runx2. In contrast, lithium chloride (LiCl) induced accumulation of β-catenin produced the opposite effect to that caused by β-catenin knockdown. In conclusion, it was reported in this study for the first time that β-catenin can enhance the odontoblastic differentiation of DPCs through activation of Runx2, which might be the mechanism involved in odontoblastic differentiation during reparative dentin formation.
Odontogenesis is the result of the reciprocal interactions between epithelial–mesenchymal cells leading to terminally differentiated odontoblasts. This process from dental papilla mesenchymal cells to odontoblasts is regulated by a complex signaling pathway. When isolated from the developing tooth germs, odontoblasts quickly lose their potential to maintain the odontoblast-specific phenotype. Therefore, generation of an odontoblast-like cell line would be a good surrogate model for studying the dental mesenchymal cell differentiation into odontoblasts and the molecular events of dentin formation. In this study, immortalized dental papilla mesenchymal cell lines were generated from the first mouse mandibular molars at postnatal day 3 using pSV40. These transformed cells were characterized by RT-PCR, immunohistochemistry, Western blot, and analyzed for alkaline phosphatase activity and mineralization nodule formation. One of these immortalized cell lines, iMDP-3, displayed a high proliferation rate, but retained the genotypic and phenotypic characteristics similar to primary cells as determined by expression of tooth-specific markers and demonstrated the ability to differentiate and form mineralized nodules. Furthermore, iMDP-3 cells had high transfection efficiency as well as were inducible and responded to BMP2 stimulation. We conclude that the establishment of the stable murine dental papilla mesenchymal cell line might be used for studying the mechanisms of dental cell differentiation and dentin formation.
Cell differentiation; Dental papilla mesenchymal cells; Odontoblasts; Immortalization; SV-40 T antigen
Dental pulp stem cells (DPSCs) can be driven into odontoblast, osteoblast, and chondrocyte lineages in different inductive media. However, the differentiation potential of naive DPSCs after serial passaging in the routine culture system has not been fully elucidated.
DPSCs were isolated from human/rat dental pulps by the magnetic activated cell sorting based on STRO-1 expression, cultured and passaged in the conventional culture media. The biological features of STRO-1+ DPSCs at the 1st and 9th passages were investigated. During the long-term passage, the proliferation ability of human STRO-1+ DPSCs was downregulated as indicated by the growth kinetics. When compared with STRO-1+ DPSCs at the 1st passage (DPSC-P1), the expression of mature osteoblast-specific genes/proteins (alkaline phosphatase, bone sialoprotein, osterix, and osteopontin), odontoblast-specific gene/protein (dentin sialophosphoprotein and dentin sialoprotein), and chondrocyte-specific gene/protein (type II collagen) was significantly upregulated in human STRO-1+ DPSCs at the 9th passage (DPSC-P9). Furthermore, human DPSC-P9 cells in the mineralization-inducing media presented higher levels of alkaline phosphatase at day 3 and day 7 respectively, and produced more mineralized matrix than DPSC-P9 cells at day 14. In vivo transplantation results showed that rat DPSC-P1 cell pellets developed into dentin, bone and cartilage structures respectively, while DPSC-P9 cells can only generate bone tissues.
These findings suggest that STRO-1+ DPSCs consist of several interrelated subpopulations which can spontaneously differentiate into odontoblasts, osteoblasts, and chondrocytes. The differentiation capacity of these DPSCs changes during cell passaging, and DPSCs at the 9th passage restrict their differentiation potential to the osteoblast lineage in vivo.
The repair of dental pulp by direct capping with calcium hydroxide or by implantation of bioactive extracellular matrix (ECM) molecules implies a cascade of four steps: a moderate inflammation, the commitment of adult reserve stem cells, their proliferation and terminal differentiation. The link between the initial inflammation and cell commitment is not yet well established but appears as a potential key factor in the reparative process. Either the release of cytokines due to inflammatory events activates resident stem (progenitor) cells, or inflammatory cells or pulp fibroblasts undergo a phenotypic conversion into osteoblast/odontoblast-like progenitors implicated in reparative dentin formation. Activation of antigen-presenting dendritic cells by mild inflammatory processes may also promote osteoblast/odontoblast-like differentiation and expression of ECM molecules implicated in mineralization. Recognition of bacteria by specific odontoblast and fibroblast membrane receptors triggers an inflammatory and immune response within the pulp tissue that would also modulate the repair process.
Dental pulp; Tissue repair; Extracellular matrix molecules; Inflammation; Immune cells
Our previous studies have shown good biocompatibility of fluorapatite (FA) crystal surfaces in providing a favorable environment for functional cell–matrix interactions of human dental pulp stem cells (DPSCs) and also in supporting their long-term growth. The aim of the current study was to further investigate whether this enamel-like surface can support the differentiation and mineralization of DPSCs, and, therefore, act as a potential model for studying the enamel/dentin interface and, perhaps, dentine/pulp regeneration in tooth tissue engineering. The human pathway-focused osteogenesis polymerase chain reaction (PCR) array demonstrated that the expression of osteogenesis-related genes of human DPSCs was increased on FA surfaces compared with that on etched stainless steel (SSE). Consistent with the PCR array, FA promoted mineralization compared with the SSE surface with or without the addition of a mineralization promoting supplement (MS). This was confirmed by alkaline phosphatase (ALP) staining, Alizarin red staining, and tetracycline staining for mineral formation. In conclusion, FA crystal surfaces, especially ordered (OR) FA surfaces, which mimicked the physical architecture of enamel, provided a favorable extracellular matrix microenvironment for the cells. This resulted in the differentiation of human DPSCs and mineralized tissue formation, and, thus, demonstrated that it may be a promising biomimetic model for dentin-pulp tissue engineering.
The clinical translation of stem cell-based Regenerative Endodontics demands further development of suitable injectable scaffolds. Puramatrix™ is a defined, self-assembling peptide hydrogel which instantaneously polymerizes under normal physiological conditions. Here, we assessed the compatibility of Puramatrix™ with dental pulp stem cell (DPSC) growth and differentiation.
DPSC cells were grown in 0.05 to 0.25% Puramatrix™. Cell viability was measured colorimetrically using the WST-1 assay. Cell morphology was observed in 3-D modeling using confocal microscopy. In addition, we used the human tooth slice model with Puramatrix™ to verify DPSC differentiation into odontoblast-like cells, as measured by expression of DSPP and DMP-1.
DPSC survived and proliferated in Puramatrix™ for at least three weeks in culture. Confocal microscopy revealed that cells seeded in Puramatrix™ presented morphological features of healthy cells, and some cells exhibited cytoplasmic elongations. Notably, after 21 days in tooth slices containing Puramatrix™, DPSC cells expressed DMP-1 and DSPP, putative markers of odontoblastic differentiation.
Collectively, these data suggest that self-assembling peptide hydrogels might be useful injectable scaffolds for stem cell-based Regenerative Endodontics.
Tissue engineering; Hydrogel; Dental pulp; Regenerative Endodontics; Odontoblast; Stem cells
Introduction: Recent investigations have attempted to improve regenerative endodontics with the help of stem cell therapy. In vitro studies have shown the ability of different agents to stimulate the differentiation of dental pulp stem cells (DPSC) into odontoblast-like cells. A combination of dexamethasone, β-glycerophosphate and Vitamin D has been proven to induce a successful differentiation. The aim of this animal study was to evaluate the effect of this combination, named odontoblastic differentiating material (ODM), on pulp tissue when used as a capping material. Materials and Methods: Sixty maxillary right and left molars of 30 Sprague-dawley rats were selected for this study. The teeth were exposed under sterile condition. Half of the teeth were capped with mineral trioxide aggregate (MTA) and the other half with ODM. All cavities were restored with glass ionomer. The rats were sacrificed at post-operative intervals of 2 weeks and 2 months. Samples were histologically evaluated for the degree of inflammation and reparative dentin formation. Finally the data was analyzed with Mann-Whitney and Chi-Square tests. Results: Reparative dentin formed in all groups within both time periods and there was no statistically significant difference between the groups in the mentioned time periods. The MTA group, however, showed a statistically significant reduction in inflammation at both time intervals (P<0.05). Compared to MTA, ODM samples showed a greater amount of inflammation in the pulp tissue. Conclusion: ODM, as a pulp capping material, can induce dentinal bridge formation.
Cell Differentiation; Dental Pulp Capping; Dexamethasone; Inflammation; Mineral Trioxide Aggregate; MTA; Odontoblast; Vitamin D
Dentin sialoprotein (DSP) is a dentin extracellular matrix protein, a unique marker of dentinogenesis and plays a vital role in odontoblast differentiation and dentin mineralization. Recently, studies have shown that DSP induces differentiation and mineralization of periodontal ligament stem cells and dental papilla mesenchymal cells in vitro and rescues dentin deficiency and increases enamel mineralization in animal models.
DSP as a nature therapeutic agent stimulates dental tissue repair by inducing endogenous dental pulp mesenchymal stem/progenitor cells into odontoblast-like cells to synthesize and to secrete dentin extracellular matrix forming new tertiary dentin as well as to regenerate a functional dentin-pulp complex. As DSP is a nature protein, and clinical procedure for DSP therapy is easy and simple, application of DSP may provide a new avenue for dentists with additional option for the treatment of substantially damaged vital teeth.
Evaluation of the hypothesis
Dental caries is the most common dental disease. Deep caries and pulp exposure have been treated by various restorative materials with limited success. One promising approach is dental pulp stem/progenitor-based therapies to regenerate dentin-pulp complex and restore its functions by DSP induction in vivo.
Dental caries; Dentin sialoprotein; Cell differentiation; Mineralization; Regeneration
The aim of this study was to characterize the in vitro osteogenic differentiation of dental pulp stem cells (DPSCs) in 2D cultures and 3D biomaterials. DPSCs, separated from dental pulp by enzymatic digestion, and isolated by magnetic cell sorting were differentiated toward osteogenic lineage on 2D surface by using an osteogenic medium. During differentiation process, DPSCs express specific bone proteins like Runx-2, Osx, OPN and OCN with a sequential expression, analogous to those occurring during osteoblast differentiation, and produce extracellular calcium deposits. In order to differentiate cells in a 3D space that mimes the physiological environment, DPSCs were cultured in two distinct bioscaffolds, Matrigel™ and Collagen sponge. With the addition of a third dimension, osteogenic differentiation and mineralized extracellular matrix production significantly improved. In particular, in Matrigel™ DPSCs differentiated with osteoblast/osteocyte characteristics and connected by gap junction, and therefore formed calcified nodules with a 3D intercellular network. Furthermore, DPSCs differentiated in collagen sponge actively secrete human type I collagen micro-fibrils and form calcified matrix containing trabecular-like structures. These neo-formed DPSCs-scaffold devices may be used in regenerative surgical applications in order to resolve pathologies and traumas characterized by critical size bone defects.
dental pulp stem cell; mesenchymal stem cells; osteogenic differentiation; 3D scaffolds.
Effects of three-dimensional (3D) calcium phosphate (CaP) porous granules on the growth and odontogenic differentiation of human dental pulp stem cells (hDPSCs) were examined for dental tissue engineering. hDPSCs isolated from adult human dental pulps were cultured for 3-4 passages, and populated on porous granules. Cell growth on the culture dish showed an ongoing increase for up to 21 days, whereas the growth on the 3D granules decreased after 14 days. This reduction in proliferative potential on the 3D granules was more conspicuous under the osteogenic medium conditions, indicating that the 3D granules may induce the odontogenic differentiation of hDPSCs. Differentiation behavior on the 3D granules was confirmed by the increased alkaline phosphatase activity, up-regulation of odontoblast-specific genes, including dentin sialophosphoprotein (DSPP) and dentin matrix protein 1 (DMP1) by quantitative polymerase chain reaction, and greater level of dentin sialoprotein synthesis by western blot. Moreover, the cellular mineralization, as assessed by Alizarin red S and calcium quantification, was significantly higher in the 3D CaP granules than in the culture dish. Taken all, the 3D CaP porous granules should be useful for dental tissue engineering in combination with hDPSCs by providing favorable 3D substrate conditions for cell growth and odontogenic development.
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. However, mouse DPSCs have not been well characterized and their origin(s) have not yet been elucidated. Herein we examined if murine DPSCs are neural crest derived and determined their in vitro and in vivo capacity. 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 Wnt1-Cre/R26R-LacZ model, a reporter of neural crest-derived tissues, indicated that DPSCs were Wnt1-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. 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.
Dental pulp stem cells (DPSC) have drawn much interest for the regeneration of mineralized tissues, and several studies have compared DPSC to bone marrow-derived mesenchymal stem cells (BMMSC). However, conflicting results, possibly due to donor-associated variability, have been published and the regenerative potential of DPSC is currently unclear. In the present study we have sought to address this problem using a donor-matched experimental design to robustly compare the biological properties of DPSC and BMMSC. All experiments were performed using cells isolated from a single adult Sprague-Dawley rat. Our results show that DPSC and BMMSC had similar morphologies and flow cytometry profiles, were capable of forming colonies in vitro, and were capable of osteogenic, chondrogenic, and adipogenic differentiation. However, quantitative comparisons revealed that DPSC had a faster population doubling time and a higher percentage of stem/progenitor cells in the population as determined by clonogenic assays. Furthermore, while both cell populations formed mineral in vitro, DPSC had significantly higher alkaline phosphatase activity than BMMSC after three weeks in osteogenic medium. These data show several key differences between DPSC and BMMSC and support the possibility of using DPSC for mineralized tissue regeneration.
dental pulp stem cells; bone marrow; mesenchymal stem cells; donor variation; proliferation; colony formation; clonogenicity; differentiation
Dental pulp stem/stromal cells (DPSCs) are categorized as adult stem cells (ASCs) that retain multipotent differentiation capabilities. DPSCs can be isolated from individuals at any age and are considered to be true personal stem cells, making DPSCs one of the potential options for stem cell therapy. However, the properties of DPSCs from individuals with an inherited genetic disorder, such as Huntington's disease (HD), have not been fully investigated.
To examine if mutant huntingtin (htt) protein impacts DPSC properties, we have established DPSCs from tooth germ of transgenic monkeys that expressed both mutant htt and green fluorescent protein (GFP) genes (rHD/G-DPSCs), and from a monkey that expressed only the GFP gene (rG-DPSCs), which served as a control. Although mutant htt and oligomeric htt aggregates were overtly present in rHD/G-DPSCs, all rHD/G-DPSCs and rG-DPSCs shared similar characteristics, including self-renewal, multipotent differentiation capabilities, expression of stemness and differentiation markers, and cell surface antigen profile.
Our results suggest that DPSCs from Huntington monkeys retain ASC properties. Thus DPSCs derived from individuals with genetic disorders such as HD could be a potential source of personal stem cells for therapeutic purposes.
Adult stem cells; animal model; DPSCs; Huntington's disease; transgenic HD monkeys; cell therapy
Human dental pulp stem cells (DPSCs) have potential applications in tissue regeneration because of their convenient cell harvesting procedures and multipotent capacity. However, the tissue regenerative potential of DPSCs is known to be negatively regulated by aging in long-term culture and under oxidative stress. With an aim of reducing cellular senescence and oxidative stress in DPSCs, an intracellular delivery system for superoxide dismutase 1 (SOD1) was developed. We conjugated SOD1 with a cell-penetrating peptide known as low-molecular weight protamine (LMWP), and investigated the effect of LMWP-SOD1 conjugates on hydrogen peroxide-induced cellular senescence and osteoblastic differentiation.
LMWP-SOD1 significantly attenuated enlarged and flattened cell morphology and increased senescence-associated β-galactosidase activity. Under the same conditions, LMWP-SOD1 abolished activation of the cell cycle regulator proteins, p53 and p21Cip1, induced by hydrogen peroxide. In addition, LMWP-SOD1 reversed the inhibition of osteoblastic differentiation and downregulation of osteogenic gene markers induced by hydrogen peroxide. However, LMWP-SOD1 could not reverse the decrease in odontogenesis caused by hydrogen peroxide.
Overall, cell-penetrating LMWP-SOD1 conjugates are effective for attenuation of cellular senescence and reversal of osteoblastic differentiation of DPSCs caused by oxidative stress inhibition. This result suggests potential application in the field of antiaging and tissue engineering to overcome the limitations of senescent stem cells.
superoxide dismutase; senescence; oxidative stress; cell-penetrating peptide; dental pulp stem cell; osteoblastic differentiation
In this study, starting from human dental pulp cells cultured in vitro, we simulated reparative dentinogenesis using a medium supplemented with different odontogenic inductors. The differentiation of dental pulp cells in odontoblast-like cells was evaluated by means of staining, and ultramorphological, biochemical and biomolecular methods. Alizarin red staining showed mineral deposition while transmission electron microscopy revealed a synthesis of extracellular matrix fibers during the differentiation process. Biochemical assays demonstrated that the differentiated phenotype expressed odontoblast markers, such as Dentin Matrix Protein 1 (DMP1) and Dentin Sialoprotein (DSP), as well as type I collagen. Quantitative data regarding the mRNA expression of DMP1, DSP and type I collagen were obtained by Real Time PCR. Immunofluorescence data demonstrated the various localizations of DSP and DMP1 during odontoblast differentiation. Based on our results, we obtained odontoblast-like cells which simulated the reparative dentin processes in order to better investigate the mechanism of odontoblast differentiation, and dentin extracellular matrix deposition and mineralization.
dental tissue; in vitro differentiation; DMP1; DSP; type I collagen
During the phase of overt tooth cytodifferentiation that occurs after birth in the mouse and using the 3.6Collagen1a-Cre, the BMP4 floxed and BMP4 knock-out mice, the BMP4 gene was deleted in early collagen producing odontoblasts around postnatal day 1. BMP4 expression was reduced over 90% in alveolar osteoblasts and odontoblasts. There was decreased rate of predentin to dentin formation and decreased mature odontoblast differentiation reflected in reduced DMP1 expression and proper dentinal tubule formation, as well as reduced Collagen type I and Osteocalcin expression. We observed mutant dysmorphogenic odontoblasts that failed to properly elongate and differentiate. The consequence of this failed differentiation process lead to permanent loss of dentin thickness, apparent enlarged pulp chambers in the molars and reduced bone supporting the tooth structures in mice as old as 10–12 months. Deletion of the BMP4 gene in odontoblasts also indirectly disrupted the process of enamel formation that persisted throughout life. The mechanism for this altered differentiation program in the absence of the BMP4 gene in odontoblasts is from decreased BMP signaling, and decreased expression of three key transcription factors, Dlx3, Dlx5, and Osterix. BMP signaling, as well as Dlx3 and Amelogenin expression, are also indirectly reduced in the ameloblasts of the odontoblast BMP4 cKO mice. This supports a key paracrine or endocrine role of odontoblasts derived BMP4 postnatally on the proper amelogenesis and formation of the enamel.
The continuous growth of rodent incisors requires the presence of stem cells capable of generating ameloblasts and odontoblasts. While epithelial stem cells giving rise to ameloblasts have been well-characterized, cells giving rise to the odontoblasts in incisors have not been fully characterized. The goal of this study was to gain insight into the potential population in dental pulps of unerupted and erupted incisors that give rise to odontoblasts. We show that pulps from unerupted incisors contain a significant mesenchymal-stem-cell (MSC)-like population (cells expressing CD90+/CD45-, CD117+/CD45-, Sca-1+/CD45-) and few CD45+ cells. Our in vitro studies showed that these cells displayed extensive osteo-dentinogenic potential, but were unable to differentiate into chondrocytes and adipocytes. Dental pulps from erupted incisors displayed increased percentages of CD45+ and decreased percentages of cells expressing markers of an MSC-like population. Despite these differences, pulps from erupted incisors also displayed extensive osteo-dentinogenic potential and inability to differentiate into chondrocytes and adipocytes. These results provide evidence that continuous generation of odontoblasts and dentin on the labial and lingual sides of unerupted and erupted incisors is supported by a progenitor population and not multipotent MSCs in the dental pulp.
murine incisor; dental pulp; dentin; odontoblasts; progenitor
We previously reported that simvastatin and enamel matrix derivative (EMD) have a dentinogenic effect. However, there is little information about the combined effects of these 2 agents on odontoblastic differentiation. The aim of this study was to investigate the effects of combined treatment with simvastatin and EMD on odontoblastic differentiation of human dental pulp cells (hDPCs). This study further explored the role of extracellular signal-regulated kinase (ERK) as a target and mediator of the differentiation induced by simvastatin in hDPCs.
The odontoblastic differentiation was analyzed by alkaline phosphatase activity, real-time polymerase chain reaction (PCR) for odontoblastic/osteoblastic markers (ie, dentin sialophosphoprotein, dentin matrix protein 1, and osteonectin), and alizarin red S staining. We also explored the role of ERK signaling as a mediator of simvastatin by Western blotting and real-time PCR. The expression of osteoblast-specific transcription factors was detected by reverse-transcription PCR.
The alkaline phosphatase activity and the expression of odontoblastic markers (ie, dentin sialophosphoprotein and dentin matrix protein 1) increased in simvastatin/EMD-treated cells. Mineralized nodule formation increased in EMD- and simvastatin/EMD-treated cells. Notably, the combined use of both simvastatin and EMD resulted in more potent differentiation than that observed after a single therapy. Simvastatin activated ERK phosphorylation and treatment with ERK inhibitor blocked the messenger RNA expression of odontoblastic markers. However, in simvastatin/EMD-treated cells, the expression of these genes did not decrease significantly. Compared with other groups, the EMD- and simvastatin/EMD-treated group showed a greater expression of osterix.
Simvastatin promotes odontoblastic differentiation of hDPCs via the ERK signaling pathway. In addition, simvastatin-induced differentiation is facilitated by co-treatment with EMD. Collectively, these results suggest a new strategy to induce odontoblastic differentiation of hDPCs.
Combination; enamel matrix derivative; extracellular signal–regulated kinase; simvastatin; odontoblastic
Dental pulp is a promising source of mesenchymal stem cells with the potential for cell-mediated therapies and tissue engineering applications. We recently reported that isolation of dental pulp-derived stem cells (DPSC) is feasible for at least 120 hours after tooth extraction, and that cryopreservation of early-passage cultured DPSC leads to high-efficiency recovery post thaw. This study investigated additional processing and cryobiological characteristics of DPSC, ending with development of procedures for banking. First, we aimed to optimize cryopreservation of established DPSC cultures, with regards to optimizing the cryoprotective agent (CPA), the CPA concentration, the concentration of cells frozen, and storage temperatures. Secondly, we focused on determining cryopreservation characteristics of enzymatically digested tissue as a cell suspension. Lastly, we evaluated the growth, surface markers and differentiation properties of DPSC obtained from intact teeth and undigested, whole dental tissue frozen and thawed using the optimized procedures. In these experiments it was determined that Me2SO at a concentration between 1 and 1.5M was the ideal cryopreservative of the three studied. It was also determined that DPSC viability after cryopreservation is not limited by the concentration of cells frozen, at least up to 2 × 106 cells/mL. It was further established that DPSC can be stored at −85°C or −196°C for at least six months without loss of functionality. The optimal results with the least manipulation were achieved by isolating and cryopreserving the tooth pulp tissues, with digestion and culture performed post-thaw. A recovery of cells from >85% of the tissues frozen was achieved and cells isolated post thaw from tissue processed and frozen with a serum free, defined cryopreservation medium maintained morphological and developmental competence and demonstrated MSC-hallmark trilineage differentiation under the appropriate culture conditions.
Mesenchymal stem cells; dental pulp stem cells; adult stem cells; cryopreservation; tissue engineering; stem cell banking
Human adult dental pulp stem cells (DPSCs), derived from third molar teeth, are multipotent and have the capacity to differentiate into neurons under inductive conditions both in vitro and following transplantation into the avian embryo. In this study, we demonstrate that the intracerebral transplantation of human DPSCs 24 hours following focal cerebral ischemia in a rodent model resulted in significant improvement in forelimb sensorimotor function at 4 weeks post-treatment. At this time, 2.3 ± 0.7% of engrafted cells had survived in the poststroke brain and demonstrated targeted migration toward the stroke lesion. In the peri-infarct striatum, transplanted DPSCs differentiated into astrocytes in preference to neurons. Our data suggest that the dominant mechanism of action underlying DPSC treatment that resulted in enhanced functional recovery is unlikely to be due to neural replacement. Functional improvement is more likely to be mediated through DPSC-dependent paracrine effects. This study provides preclinical evidence for the future use of human DPSCs in cell therapy to improve outcome in stroke patients.
Dental pulp stem cells; Functional recovery; Rat model; Stem cell transplantation; Stroke
NUMB is a multifunctional protein implicated to function in self-renewal and differentiation of progenitors in several tissues. To characterize the transcripts and to analyze the expression pattern of NUMB in odontogenesis, we isolated 2 full-length clones for NUMB from mouse dental pulp mRNA. One novel sequence contained 200 bp insertion in the phosphotyrosine binding domain (PTB). Confocal microscopy analysis showed strong NUMB expression in human dental pulp stem cells (hDPSC) and preameloblasts. Western blot analysis indicated that NUMB isoforms were differentially expressed in various dental tissues. Immunohistochemical analysis showed that in postnatal mouse tooth germs, NUMB was differentially expressed in the preameloblasts, odontoblasts, cervical loop region, and in the dental pulp stem cells during development. Interestingly, overexpression of NUMB in HAT-7, a preameloblast cell line, had dramatic antagonizing effects on the protein expression level of activated Notch 1. Further analysis of the Notch signaling pathway showed that NUMB significantly downregulates sonic hedgehog (Shh) expression in preameloblasts. Therefore, we propose that NUMB maintains ameloblast progenitor phenotype at the cervical loop by downregulating the activated Notch1 protein and thereby inhibiting the mRNA expression of Shh.
The aim of this study was to confirm the multilineage differentiation ability of dental pulp stem cells (DPSCs) from green fluorescent protein (GFP) transgenic mice. The expression of GFP in DPSCs was also observed during differentiation.
DPSCs were harvested from the dental pulp tissue of transgenic nude mice, and then transferred to osteogenic, adipogenic, and chondrogenic media. The morphological characterization of induced cells was observed by microscopy and histological staining. The expression of marker genes was measured by RT-PCR.
The endogenous GFP and multilineage potential of transgenic DPSCs had no influence on each other. Moreover, the results of fluorescence microscopic imaging suggest that there was no significant decline of GFP expression during DPSCs differentiation.
As the population of GFP labeled DPSCs can be easily identified, this will be a promising method for tracking DPSCs in vivo.
dental pulp stem cells; multilineage differentiation; green fluorescent protein