Objectives: The aim of this study was to characterize the expression status of cadherins in dental pulp-derived mesenchymal progenitor/stem cells from deciduous and permanent teeth, and to determine how cadherins affect the multipotency of the progenitor/stem cells.
Materials and methods: We evaluated and compared the expression status of cadherins in dental pulp-derived cells from deciduous teeth and in cells from permanent teeth by using an array of primers for amplification of RNA encoding human cell adhesion molecules and a real time PCR system. In order to elucidate how cadherins (which are differentially expressed in deciduous and permanent teeth) affect the multipotency of the dental pulp-derived progenitor/stem cells, the ability of the dental pulp cells to differentiate into adipocytes and osteoblasts was evaluated.
Results: R-cadherin was found to be vigorously expressed in the dental pulp cells derived from permanent teeth but not in the dental pulp cells derived from deciduous teeth. N-cadherin was found to be expressed essentially equally in both types of cells. The ability of the dental pulp cells of deciduous teeth to differentiate into adipocytes and osteoblasts was found to be much higher than that of cells obtained from permanent teeth.
Conclusion: R-cadherin may be a key molecule for providing control over the multipotency of the dental pulp-derived mesenchymal stem cells.
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