SHED: stem cells from human exfoliated deciduous teeth

Proc Natl Acad Sci U S A. 2003 May 13;100(10):5807-12. doi: 10.1073/pnas.0937635100. Epub 2003 Apr 25.


To isolate high-quality human postnatal stem cells from accessible resources is an important goal for stem-cell research. In this study we found that exfoliated human deciduous tooth contains multipotent stem cells [stem cells from human exfoliated deciduous teeth (SHED)]. SHED were identified to be a population of highly proliferative, clonogenic cells capable of differentiating into a variety of cell types including neural cells, adipocytes, and odontoblasts. After in vivo transplantation, SHED were found to be able to induce bone formation, generate dentin, and survive in mouse brain along with expression of neural markers. Here we show that a naturally exfoliated human organ contains a population of stem cells that are completely different from previously identified stem cells. SHED are not only derived from a very accessible tissue resource but are also capable of providing enough cells for potential clinical application. Thus, exfoliated teeth may be an unexpected unique resource for stem-cell therapies including autologous stem-cell transplantation and tissue engineering.

Publication types

  • Research Support, U.S. Gov't, P.H.S.

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Base Sequence
  • Cell Separation / methods
  • DNA Primers
  • Dentate Gyrus
  • Hippocampus
  • Humans
  • Immunohistochemistry
  • In Situ Hybridization
  • Mice
  • Mice, SCID
  • Mitochondria / ultrastructure
  • Polymerase Chain Reaction / methods
  • Receptors, Cytoplasmic and Nuclear / genetics
  • Stem Cell Transplantation*
  • Stem Cells / cytology*
  • Stem Cells / pathology
  • Stromal Cells / pathology
  • Tooth Exfoliation / pathology*
  • Tooth, Deciduous / cytology*
  • Tooth, Deciduous / pathology
  • Transcription Factors / genetics
  • Transplantation, Heterologous


  • DNA Primers
  • Receptors, Cytoplasmic and Nuclear
  • Transcription Factors