Departmental Papers (Dental)

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Journal Article

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Journal of Endodontics





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Mesenchymal stem cells (MSCs) have been isolated from the pulp tissue of permanent teeth (dental pulp stem cells or DPSCs) and deciduous teeth (stem cells from human exfoliated deciduous teeth or SHED). We recently discovered another type of MSCs in the apical papilla of human immature permanent teeth termed stem cells from apical papilla (SCAP). Here we further characterized the apical papilla tissue and stem cell properties of SCAP using histological, immunohistochemical and immunocytofluorescent analyses. We found that apical papilla is distinctive to pulp in terms of containing less cellular and vascular components than those in pulp. Cells in apical papilla proliferated 2- to 3-fold greater than those in pulp in organ cultures. Both SCAP and DPSCs were as potent in osteo/dentinogenic differentiation as MSCs from bone marrows while weaker in adipogenic potential. The immunophenotype of SCAP is similar to that of DPSCs on the osteo/dentinogenic and growth factor receptor gene profiles. Double staining experiments showed that STRO-1 co-expressed with dentinogenic markers such as bone sialophosphoprotein (BSP), osteocalcin (OCN) and growth factors FGFR1 and TGFβRI in cultured SCAP. Additionally, SCAP express a wide variety of neurogenic markers such as nestin and neurofilament M upon stimulation with a neurogenic medium. We conclude that SCAP are similar to DPSCs but a distinct source of potent dental stem/progenitor cells. Their implications in root development and apexogenesis are discussed.

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© <2008>. This manuscript version is made available under the CC-BY-NC-ND 4.0 license


Apical papilla, immature teeth, MSCs, SCAP, DPSCs, PDLSCs, BMMSCs, apexogenesis, immunohistochemistry, immunocytofluorescence

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Dentistry Commons



Date Posted: 01 March 2022

This document has been peer reviewed.