Mesenchymal stem cells derived from dental tissues vs. those from other sources: their biology and role in regenerative medicine

J Dent Res. 2009 Sep;88(9):792-806. doi: 10.1177/0022034509340867.


To date, 5 different human dental stem/progenitor cells have been isolated and characterized: dental pulp stem cells (DPSCs), stem cells from exfoliated deciduous teeth (SHED), periodontal ligament stem cells (PDLSCs), stem cells from apical papilla (SCAP), and dental follicle progenitor cells (DFPCs). These postnatal populations have mesenchymal-stem-cell-like (MSC) qualities, including the capacity for self-renewal and multilineage differentiation potential. MSCs derived from bone marrow (BMMSCs) are capable of giving rise to various lineages of cells, such as osteogenic, chondrogenic, adipogenic, myogenic, and neurogenic cells. The dental-tissue-derived stem cells are isolated from specialized tissue with potent capacities to differentiate into odontogenic cells. However, they also have the ability to give rise to other cell lineages similar to, but different in potency from, that of BMMSCs. This article will review the isolation and characterization of the properties of different dental MSC-like populations in comparison with those of other MSCs, such as BMMSCs. Important issues in stem cell biology, such as stem cell niche, homing, and immunoregulation, will also be discussed.

Publication types

  • Comparative Study
  • Research Support, N.I.H., Extramural
  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Bone Marrow Cells / classification
  • Cell Differentiation / physiology
  • Cell Lineage / physiology
  • Dental Papilla / cytology*
  • Dental Pulp / cytology
  • Dental Sac / cytology
  • Humans
  • Mesenchymal Stem Cells / classification*
  • Mesenchymal Stem Cells / physiology
  • Periodontal Ligament / cytology*
  • Regeneration / physiology
  • Tissue Engineering
  • Tooth / cytology*
  • Tooth, Deciduous / cytology