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Int J Immunopathol Pharmacol. 2009 Jul-Sep;22(3):699-706.

Angiogenic potential of human dental pulp stromal (stem) cells.

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  • 1Department of Histology, Embryology and Applied Biology, University of Bologna, and Transfusion Medicine Service, S. Orsola Hospital, Bologna, Italy.


Dental pulp is a heterogeneous microenviroment where unipotent progenitor and pluripotent mesenchymal stem cells cohabit. In this study we investigated whether human dental pulp stromal (stem) cells (DP-SCs) committed to the angiogenic fate. DP-SCs showed the specific mesenchymal immunophenotypical profile positive for CD29, CD44, CD73, CD105, CD166 and negative for CD14, CD34, CD45, in accordance with that reported for bone marrow-derived SCs. The Oct-4 expression in DP-SCs, evaluated through RT-PCR analysis, increased in relation with the number of the passages in cell culture and decreased after angiogenic induction. In agreement with their multipotency, DP-SCs differentiated toward osteogenic and adipogenic commitments. In angiogenic experiments, differentiation of DP-SCs, through vascular endothelial growth factor (VEGF) induction, was evaluated by in vitro matrigel assay and by cytometric analysis. Accordingly, endothelial-specific markers like Flt-1 and KDR were basally expressed and they increased after exposure to VEGF together with the occurrence of ICAM-1 and von Willebrand factor positive cells. In addition, VEGF-induced DP-SCs maintained endothelial cell-like features when cultured in a 3-D fibrin mesh, displaying focal organization into capillary-like structures. The DP-SC angiogenic potential may prove a remarkable tool for novel approaches to developing tissue-engineered vascular grafts which are useful when vascularization of ischemic tissues is required.

[PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]
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