Essential Roles of Dopamine and Serotonin in Tooth Repair: Functional Interplay Between Odontogenic Stem Cells and Platelets

Stem Cells. 2015 Aug;33(8):2586-95. doi: 10.1002/stem.2037. Epub 2015 May 26.


Characterizing stem cell intrinsic functions is an ongoing challenge for cell therapies. Here, we report that two independent A4 and H8 stem cell lines isolated from mouse molar pulp display the overall functions of bioaminergic cells. Both clones produce neurotrophins and synthesize, catabolize, store, and transport serotonin (5-hydroxytryptamine [5-HT]) and dopamine (DA). They express 5-HT1D,2B,7 and D1,3 autoreceptors, which render pulpal stem cells competent to respond to circulating 5-HT and DA. We show that injury-activated platelets are the source of systemic 5-HT and DA necessary for dental repair since natural dentin reparation is impaired in two rat models with monoamine storage-deficient blood platelets. Moreover, selective inhibition of either D1, D3, 5-HT2B, or 5-HT7 receptor within the pulp of wild-type rat molars after lesion alters the reparative process. Altogether our data argue that 5-HT and DA coreleased by pulp injury-activated platelets are critical for stem cell-mediated dental repair through 5-HT and DA receptor signalings.

Keywords: Dental pulp stem cells; Dental repair; Dopamine; Serotonin; Signaling.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Blood Platelets / cytology
  • Blood Platelets / metabolism*
  • Cell Line
  • Dental Pulp / metabolism*
  • Dopamine / metabolism*
  • Mice
  • Rats
  • Receptors, Calcitriol / metabolism
  • Receptors, Dopamine D1 / metabolism
  • Receptors, Serotonin / metabolism
  • Serotonin / metabolism*
  • Stem Cells / cytology
  • Stem Cells / metabolism*


  • Receptors, Calcitriol
  • Receptors, Dopamine D1
  • Receptors, Serotonin
  • Serotonin
  • Dopamine