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World J Gastrointest Pharmacol Ther. 2017 Feb 6;8(1):1-6. doi: 10.4292/wjgpt.v8.i1.1.

Regenerative medicine using dental pulp stem cells for liver diseases.

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Shogo Ohkoshi, Hajime Hara, Haruka Hirono, Kazuhiko Watanabe, Katsuhiko Hasegawa, Department of Internal Medicine, School of Life Dentistry at Niigata, Nippon Dental University, Chuo-ku 951-8580, Japan.


Acute liver failure is a refractory disease and its prognosis, if not treated using liver transplantation, is extremely poor. It is a good candidate for regenerative medicine, where stem cell-based therapies play a central role. Mesenchymal stem cells (MSCs) are known to differentiate into multiple cell lineages including hepatocytes. Autologous cell transplant without any foreign gene induction is feasible using MSCs, thereby avoiding possible risks of tumorigenesis and immune rejection. Dental pulp also contains an MSC population that differentiates into hepatocytes. A point worthy of special mention is that dental pulp can be obtained from deciduous teeth during childhood and can be subsequently harvested when necessary after deposition in a tooth bank. MSCs have not only a regenerative capacity but also act in an anti-inflammatory manner via paracrine mechanisms. Promising efficacies and difficulties with the use of MSC derived from teeth are summarized in this review.


Dental pulp; Liver disease; Mesenchymal stem cell; Regenerative medicine; Tooth bank

Conflict of interest statement

Conflict-of-interest statement: The authors do not have any commercial affiliation or consultancy that could be construed as a conflict of interest.

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