Mesenchymal Dental Stem Cells for Tissue Regeneration
Masaki J. Honda, DDS, PhD/Eri Watanabe, MS/Yoshikazu Mikami, PhD/Yoko Saito, DDS/Taku Toriumi, DDS/Tetsuo Shirakawa, DDS, PhD/Noriyoshi Shimizu, DDS, PhD/Nobukazu Watanabe, MD, PhD/Keitaro Isokawa, DDS, PhD
Two types of dentition are generated in a human’s lifetime: the primary dentition, followed by the permanent dentition. Undoubtedly, teeth are essential for speech and mastication in both dentitions, but it is becoming apparent that dental pulp also plays a role in harboring mesenchymal stem cells (MSCs). To date, three kinds of MSCs derived from dental pulp have been established: permanent tooth, primary tooth, and immature apical papilla. The dental pulp from primary teeth is considered a particularly good source of MSCs; it can be obtained from extracted primary teeth, of which humans have 20. The past decade has seen many reports of dental pulp–derived MSCs, and the field is becoming increasingly popular. The present article describes the characterization of dental pulp–derived MSCs from primary teeth. It also discusses future banking activity of primary teeth, because it is known that dental pulp–derived MSCs have similar potential to those derived from bone marrow. Methods with which to optimize the cryopreservation process should therefore be investigated, because banked dental pulp may provide a great resource in future regenerative medicine.