Potential Roles of Dental Pulp Stem Cells in Neural Regeneration and Repair

Stem Cells Int. 2018 May 7;2018:1731289. doi: 10.1155/2018/1731289. eCollection 2018.


This review summarizes current advances in dental pulp stem cells (DPSCs) and their potential applications in the nervous diseases. Injured adult mammalian nervous system has a limited regenerative capacity due to an insufficient pool of precursor cells in both central and peripheral nervous systems. Nerve growth is also constrained by inhibitory factors (associated with central myelin) and barrier tissues (glial scarring). Stem cells, possessing the capacity of self-renewal and multicellular differentiation, promise new therapeutic strategies for overcoming these impediments to neural regeneration. Dental pulp stem cells (DPSCs) derive from a cranial neural crest lineage, retain a remarkable potential for neuronal differentiation, and additionally express multiple factors that are suitable for neuronal and axonal regeneration. DPSCs can also express immunomodulatory factors that stimulate formation of blood vessels and enhance regeneration and repair of injured nerve. These unique properties together with their ready accessibility make DPSCs an attractive cell source for tissue engineering in injured and diseased nervous systems. In this review, we interrogate the neuronal differentiation potential as well as the neuroprotective, neurotrophic, angiogenic, and immunomodulatory properties of DPSCs and its application in the injured nervous system. Taken together, DPSCs are an ideal stem cell resource for therapeutic approaches to neural repair and regeneration in nerve diseases.

Publication types

  • Review