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Dental Pulp Stem Cells: Advances to Applications

Authors Tsutsui TW

Received 6 March 2019

Accepted for publication 7 December 2019

Published 13 February 2020 Volume 2020:13 Pages 33—42


Checked for plagiarism Yes

Review by Single anonymous peer review

Peer reviewer comments 2

Editor who approved publication: Dr Bernard Binetruy

Takeo W Tsutsui

Department of Pharmacology, School of Life Dentistry at Tokyo, The Nippon Dental University, Tokyo, Japan

Correspondence: Takeo W Tsutsui
Department of Pharmacology, The Nippon Dental University School of Life Dentistry at Tokyo, 1-9-20 Fujimi, Chiyoda-Ku, Tokyo 102-8159, Japan
Tel +81 3-3261-8311
Fax +81 3-3264-8399
Email [email protected]

Abstract: Dental pulp stem cells (DPSCs) have a high capacity for differentiation and the ability to regenerate a dentin/pulp-like complex. Numerous studies have provided evidence of DPSCs’ differentiation capacity, such as in neurogenesis, adipogenesis, osteogenesis, chondrogenesis, angiogenesis, and dentinogenesis. The molecular mechanisms and functions of DPSCs’ differentiation process are affected by growth factors and scaffolds. For example, growth factors such as basic fibroblast growth factor (bFGF), transforming growth factor-β (TGF-β), nerve growth factor (NGF), platelet-derived growth factor (PDGF), and bone morphogenic proteins (BMPs) influence DPSC fate, including in differentiation, cell proliferation, and wound healing. In addition, several types of scaffolds, such as collagen, hydrogel, decellularized bioscaffold, and nanofibrous spongy microspheres, have been used to characterize DPSC cellular attachment, migration, proliferation, differentiation, and functions. An appropriate combination of growth factors and scaffolds can enhance the differentiation capacity of DPSCs, in terms of optimizing not only dental-related expression but also dental pulp morphology. For a cell-based clinical approach, focus has been placed on the tissue engineering triad [cells/bioactive molecules (growth factors)/scaffolds] to characterize DPSCs. It is clear that a deep understanding of the mechanisms of stem cells, including their aging, self-renewal, microenvironmental homeostasis, and differentiation correlated with cell activity, the energy for which is provided from mitochondria, should provide new approaches for DPSC research and therapeutics. Mitochondrial functions and dynamics are related to the direction of stem cell differentiation, including glycolysis, oxidative phosphorylation, mitochondrial metabolism, mitochondrial transcription factor A (TFAM), mitochondrial elongation, and mitochondrial fusion and fission proteins. This review summarizes the effects of major growth factors and scaffolds for regenerating dentin/pulp-like complexes, as well as elucidating mitochondrial properties of DPSCs for the development of advanced applications research.

Keywords: dental pulp stem cell, bioactive molecule, growth factor, scaffold, mitochondria, regenerative therapy

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