Comparison of human dental follicle cells (DFCs) and stem cells from human exfoliated deciduous teeth (SHED) after neural differentiation in vitro

Clin Oral Investig. 2010 Aug;14(4):433-40. doi: 10.1007/s00784-009-0310-4. Epub 2009 Jul 10.


Dental stem cells from human exfoliated deciduous teeth (SHED) and dental follicle cells (DFCs) are neural crest-derived stem cells from human dental tissues. Interestingly, SHED and DFCs can successfully differentiate into neuron-like cells. We hypothesized that SHED and DFCs have the same neural cell differentiation potentials. To evaluate neural cell differentiation, we cultivated SHED and DFCs in four different serum-replacement media (SRMs) and analyzed cell morphology, cell proliferation, and gene expression patterns before and after differentiation. In a standard cell culture medium, SHED and DFCs have not only similar cell morphologies, but they also have similar gene expression patterns for known stem cell markers. However, only SHED expressed the neural stem cell marker Pax6. After cultivation in SRMs, cell proliferations of DFCs and SHED were reduced and the cell morphology was spindle-like with long processes. However, differentiated DFCs and SHED had different neural cell marker expression patterns. For example, gene expression of the late neural cell marker microtubule-associated protein 2 was upregulated in DFCs and downregulated in SHED in SRM with the B27 supplement. In contrast, SHED formed neurosphere-like cell clusters in SRM with the B27 supplement, epidermal growth factor, and fibroblast growth factor-2. Moreover, SHED differentially expressed the glial cell marker glial fibrillary acidic protein, which in contrast was weakly or not expressed in DFCs. In conclusion, SHED and DFCs have different neural differentiation potentials under the same cell culture conditions.

Publication types

  • Comparative Study
  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Antigens, Surface / biosynthesis
  • Antigens, Surface / genetics
  • Biomarkers
  • Cell Differentiation
  • Cell Proliferation
  • Cells, Cultured
  • Culture Media, Serum-Free
  • Dental Sac / cytology*
  • Eye Proteins / biosynthesis
  • Eye Proteins / genetics
  • Fluorescent Antibody Technique
  • Gene Expression
  • Glial Fibrillary Acidic Protein / biosynthesis
  • Glial Fibrillary Acidic Protein / genetics
  • Homeodomain Proteins / biosynthesis
  • Homeodomain Proteins / genetics
  • Humans
  • Mesenchymal Stem Cells* / cytology
  • Mesenchymal Stem Cells* / metabolism
  • Microtubule-Associated Proteins / biosynthesis
  • Microtubule-Associated Proteins / genetics
  • Nerve Tissue Proteins / biosynthesis*
  • Nerve Tissue Proteins / genetics
  • Neurons / cytology*
  • Neurons / metabolism
  • PAX6 Transcription Factor
  • Paired Box Transcription Factors / biosynthesis
  • Paired Box Transcription Factors / genetics
  • Receptor, Notch1 / biosynthesis
  • Receptor, Notch1 / genetics
  • Repressor Proteins / biosynthesis
  • Repressor Proteins / genetics
  • Reverse Transcriptase Polymerase Chain Reaction
  • Tooth Exfoliation
  • Tooth, Deciduous / cytology*
  • Young Adult


  • Antigens, Surface
  • Biomarkers
  • Culture Media, Serum-Free
  • Eye Proteins
  • Glial Fibrillary Acidic Protein
  • Homeodomain Proteins
  • Microtubule-Associated Proteins
  • NOTCH1 protein, human
  • Nerve Tissue Proteins
  • PAX6 Transcription Factor
  • PAX6 protein, human
  • Paired Box Transcription Factors
  • Receptor, Notch1
  • Repressor Proteins
  • STRO-1 antigen, human