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Cytokine Growth Factor Rev. 2005 Jun;16(3):369-76.

Bone morphogenetic proteins in dentin regeneration for potential use in endodontic therapy.

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  • 1Laboratory of Oral Disease Research, National Institute for Longevity Sciences, National Center for Geriatrics and Gerontology, Aichi 474-8522, Japan.


The human dentition is indispensable for nutrition and physiology. The teeth have evolved for mastication of food. Caries is a common dental problem in which the dentin matrix is damaged. When the caries is deep and the dental pulp is exposed, the pulp has to be removed in many cases, resulting ultimately in loss of the tooth. Therefore, the regeneration of dentin-pulp complex is the long-term goal of operative dentistry and endodontics. The key elements of dentin regeneration are stem cells, morphogens such as bone morphogenetic proteins (BMPs) and a scaffold of extracellular matrix. The dental pulp has stem/progenitor cells that have the potential to differentiate into dentin-forming odontoblasts in response to BMPs. Pulpal wound healing consists of stem/progenitor cells release from dental pulp niche after noxious stimuli such as caries, migration to the injured site, proliferation and differentiation into odontoblasts. There are two main strategies for pulp therapy to regenerate dentin: (1) in vivo method of enhancing the natural healing potential of pulp tissue by application of BMP proteins or BMP genes, (2) ex vivo method of isolation of stem/progenitor cells, differentiation with BMP proteins or BMP genes and transplantation to the tooth. This review summarizes recent advances in application of BMPs for dentin regeneration and possible use in endodotic therapy.

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