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From regenerative dentistry to regenerative medicine: progress, challenges, and potential applications of oral stem cells

Authors Xiao L, Nasu M

Received 11 July 2014

Accepted for publication 31 October 2014

Published 4 December 2014 Volume 2014:7 Pages 89—99


Checked for plagiarism Yes

Review by Single-blind

Peer reviewer comments 2

Editor who approved publication: Dr Bernard Binetruy

Video abstract presented by Li Xiao

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Li Xiao,1 Masanori Nasu2

1Department of Pharmacology, 2Research Center, The Nippon Dental University, Tokyo, Japan

Abstract: Adult mesenchymal stem cells (MSCs) and epithelial stem cells play essential roles in tissue repair and self-healing. Oral MSCs and epithelial stem cells can be isolated from adult human oral tissues, for example, teeth, periodontal ligament, and gingiva. Cocultivated adult oral epithelial stem cells and MSCs could represent some developmental events, such as epithelial invagination and tubular structure formation, signifying their potentials for tissue regeneration. Oral epithelial stem cells have been used in regenerative medicine over 1 decade. They are able to form a stratified cell sheet under three-dimensional culture conditions. Both experimental and clinical data indicate that the cell sheets can not only safely and effectively reconstruct the damaged cornea in humans, but also repair esophageal ulcer in animal models. Oral MSCs include dental pulp stem cells (DPSCs), stem cells from exfoliated deciduous teeth (SHED), stem cells from apical papilla (SCAP), periodontal ligament stem cells (PDLSCs), and mesenchymal stem cells from gingiva (GMSCs). They are widely applied in both regenerative dentistry and medicine. DPSCs, SHED, and SCAP are able to form dentin–pulp complex when being transplanted into immunodeficient animals. They have been experimentally used for the regeneration of dental pulp, neuron, bone muscle and blood vessels in animal models and have shown promising results. PDLSCs and GMSCs are demonstrated to be ideal cell sources for repairing the damaged tissues of periodontal, muscle, and tendon. Despite the abovementioned applications of oral stem cells, only a few human clinical trials are now underway to use them for the treatment of certain diseases. Since clinical use is the end goal, their true regenerative power and safety need to be further examined.

Keywords: oral mesenchymal stem cells, oral epithelial stem cells, cell transplantation, regeneration

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