Dental pulp cells (DPCs), including dental pulp (DP) stem cells, play a role in dentine repair under certain conditions caused by bacterial infections associated with caries, tooth fracture and injury. Mesenchymal stem cells (MSCs) have also been shown to be involved in this process of repair. However, the mechanisms through which MSCs are recruited to the DP have not yet been elucidated. Therefore, the aim of the present in vitro study was to investigate whether stromal cell-derived factor 1α (SDF1)-C-X-C chemokine receptor type 4 (CXCR4) signaling is involved in tissue repair in the DP of deciduous teeth. A single-cell clone from DPCs (SDP11) and UE7T-13 cells were used as pulp cells and MSCs, respectively. The MG-63 and HuO9 cells, two osteosarcoma cell lines, were used as positive control cells. Reverse transcription polymerase chain reaction (RT-PCR) revealed that all cell lines (SDP11, UE7T-13 MG-63 and HuO9) were positive for both SDF1 and CXCR4 mRNA expression. Moreover, immunocytochemical analysis indicated that SDF1 and CXCR4 proteins were expressed in the SDP11 and UE7T-13 cells. SDF1 was also detected in the cell lysates (CLs) and conditioned medium (CM) collected from the SDP11 and UE7T-13 cells, and AMD3100, a specific antagonist of CXCR4, inhibited the migration of the UE7T-13 cells; this migration was induced by treatment with CM, which was collected from the SDP11 cells. In addition, real-time PCR showed that the expression of SDF1 in the SDP11 cells was inhibited by treatment with 20 ng/ml fibroblast growth factor (FGF)-2, and exposure to AZD4547, an inhibitor of the FGF receptor, blocked this inhibition. Collectively, these data suggest that SDF1 produced by DP plays an important role in homeostasis, repair and regeneration via the recruitment of MSCs.