Transplantation of embryonic stem cells improves the regeneration of periodontal furcation defects in a porcine model

J Clin Periodontol. 2013 Apr;40(4):364-71. doi: 10.1111/jcpe.12069. Epub 2013 Feb 21.


Objectives: Stem cell-based therapy promises to regenerate lost tissue. Embryonic stem (ES) cells are pluripotent and may provide a virtually unlimited source for transplantation. We investigated whether ES cell transplantation improved the regeneration of furcation defects in a porcine model.

Material and methods: Experimental periodontitis was induced in the buccal furcations of the bilateral mandibular 2nd premolars of six minipigs. After 4 weeks, the lesions were surgically debrided and implanted with collagen matrix alone (control site) or collagen matrix overlaid with porcine ES cells expressing green fluorescent protein (pES/GFP(+) ) (test site). After 3 months of healing, the clinical parameters were measured again. The treated teeth with adjacent tissue, and part of the major organs, were processed for GFP immunohistochemistry.

Results: We found no obvious teratoma or rejection. The test group had significantly better clinical parameters. Immunohistochemistry (IHC) showed that transplanted pES/GFP(+) cells had differentiated to new periodontal ligament and cementum in the test sites. Surprisingly, GFP(+) cells were also detectable in the repaired control cementum and remote organs.

Conclusions: We conclude that using ES cells to improve the regeneration of periodontal furcation defects is feasible. More studies are required to assess this potential treatment's efficacy and safety.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Cell Differentiation
  • Cell Movement*
  • Cementogenesis
  • Embryonic Stem Cells / transplantation*
  • Female
  • Furcation Defects / surgery*
  • Green Fluorescent Proteins
  • Periodontal Ligament / cytology
  • Pluripotent Stem Cells / transplantation
  • Regeneration*
  • Stem Cell Transplantation*
  • Swine
  • Swine, Miniature


  • Green Fluorescent Proteins