Stem cells in the face: tooth regeneration and beyond

Cell Stem Cell. 2012 Sep 7;11(3):291-301. doi: 10.1016/j.stem.2012.08.010.


The face distinguishes one person from another. Postnatal orofacial tissues harbor rare cells that exhibit stem cell properties. Despite unmet clinical needs for reconstruction of tissues lost in congenital anomalies, infections, trauma, or tumor resection, how orofacial stem/progenitor cells contribute to tissue development, pathogenesis, and regeneration is largely obscure. This perspective article critically analyzes the current status of our understanding of orofacial stem/progenitor cells, identifies gaps in our knowledge, and highlights pathways for the development of regenerative therapies.

Publication types

  • Research Support, N.I.H., Extramural
  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't
  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Connective Tissue Cells / cytology
  • Epithelial Cells / cytology
  • Face
  • Humans
  • Regeneration / physiology*
  • Stem Cells / cytology*
  • Tooth / cytology
  • Tooth / physiology*