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J Craniofac Surg. 2008 Jan;19(1):204-10. doi: 10.1097/scs.0b013e31815c8a54.

Reconstruction of large cranial defects in nonimmunosuppressed experimental design with human dental pulp stem cells.

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Departamento de Cirurgia Plástica e Queimaduras, Faculdade de Medicina, Universidade de São Paulo, São Paulo, Brazil.


The main aim of this study is to evaluate the capacity of human dental pulp stem cells (hDPSC), isolated from deciduous teeth, to reconstruct large-sized cranial bone defects in nonimmunosuppressed (NIS) rats. To our knowledge, these cells were not used before in similar experiments. We performed two symmetric full-thickness cranial defects (5 x 8 mm) on each parietal region of eight NIS rats. In six of them, the left side was supplied with collagen membrane only and the right side (RS) with collagen membrane and hDPSC. In two rats, the RS had collagen membrane only and nothing was added at the left side (controls). Cells were used after in vitro characterization as mesenchymal cells. Animals were euthanized at 7, 20, 30, 60, and 120 days postoperatively and cranial tissue samples were taken from the defects for histologic analysis. Analysis of the presence of human cells in the new bone was confirmed by molecular analysis. The hDPSC lineage was positive for the four mesenchymal cell markers tested and showed osteogenic, adipogenic, and myogenic in vitro differentiation. We observed bone formation 1 month after surgery in both sides, but a more mature bone was present in the RS. Human DNA was polymerase chain reaction-amplified only at the RS, indicating that this new bone had human cells. The use of hDPSC in NIS rats did not cause any graft rejection. Our findings suggest that hDPSC is an additional cell resource for correcting large cranial defects in rats and constitutes a promising model for reconstruction of human large cranial defects in craniofacial surgery.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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