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J Dent Res. 2008 Jul;87(7):676-81.

Characterization of dental pulp stem cells of human tooth germs.

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Department of Oral and Maxillofacial Science, Gifu University Graduate School of Medicine, Gifu, Japan.


In previous studies, human dental pulp stem cells (hDPSCs) were mainly isolated from adults. In this present study, we characterized hDPSCs isolated from an earlier developmental stage to evaluate the potential usage of these cells for tissue-regenerative therapy. hDPSCs isolated at the crown-completed stage showed a higher proliferation rate than those isolated at a later stage. When the cells from either group were cultured in medium promoting differentiation toward cells of the osteo/odontoblastic lineage, both became alkaline-phosphatase-positive, produced calcified matrix, and were also capable of forming dentin-like matrix on scaffolds in vivo. However, during long-term passage, these cells underwent a change in morphology and lost their differentiation ability. The results of a DNA array experiment showed that the expression of several genes, such as WNT16, was markedly changed with an increasing number of passages, which might have caused the loss of their characteristics as hDPSCs.

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