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Stem Cells Dev. 2010 Sep;19(9):1375-83. doi: 10.1089/scd.2009.0258.

Stem cells from human-exfoliated deciduous teeth can differentiate into dopaminergic neuron-like cells.

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Salivary Gland Disease Center and the Molecular Laboratory for Gene Therapy and Tooth Regeneration, Capital Medical University School of Stomatology, Beijing, People's Republic of China.


Stem cells from human exfoliated deciduous teeth (SHED) have been identified as a novel population of postnatal stem cells capable of differentiating into neural cells, odontogenic cells, and adipocytes. SHED were reported to differentiate into neural cells based on cellular morphology and the expression of early neuronal markers when cultured under neural inductive conditions. This study therefore investigated the therapeutic efficacy of SHED in alleviating Parkinson's disease (PD) in a rat model. We found that SHED could be induced to form neural-like spheres in a medium optimized for neural stem cells in vitro. After incubation with a cocktail of cytokines including sonic hedgehog, fibroblast growth factor 8, glial cell line-derived neurotrophic factor, and forskolin, these SHED-derived spheres further differentiated into a cell population that contained specific dopaminergic neurons. Moreover, transplantation of SHED spheres into the striatum of parkinsonian rats partially improved the apomorphine-evoked rotation of behavorial disorders compared to transplantation of control SHED. Our data indicate that SHED, potentially derived from neural crest cells, may be an optimal source of postnatal stem cells for PD treatment.

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