Concise Review: Dental Pulp Stem Cells: A Novel Cell Therapy for Retinal and Central Nervous System Repair

Stem Cells. 2017 Jan;35(1):61-67. doi: 10.1002/stem.2398. Epub 2016 Jun 16.


Dental pulp stem cells (DPSC) are neural crest-derived ecto-mesenchymal stem cells that can relatively easily and non-invasively be isolated from the dental pulp of extracted postnatal and adult teeth. Accumulating evidence suggests that DPSC have great promise as a cellular therapy for central nervous system (CNS) and retinal injury and disease. The mode of action by which DPSC confer therapeutic benefit may comprise multiple pathways, in particular, paracrine-mediated processes which involve a wide array of secreted trophic factors and is increasingly regarded as the principal predominant mechanism. In this concise review, we present the current evidence for the use of DPSC to repair CNS damage, including recent findings on retinal ganglion cell neuroprotection and regeneration in optic nerve injury and glaucoma. Stem Cells 2017;35:61-67.

Keywords: Dental pulp stem cells, mesenchymal stem cells, nerve repair, neural regeneration, retinal ganglion cells, CNS, glaucoma, optic nerve.

Publication types

  • Review
  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Cell- and Tissue-Based Therapy*
  • Central Nervous System / pathology*
  • Dental Pulp / cytology*
  • Humans
  • Retina / pathology*
  • Stem Cells / cytology*
  • Wound Healing*