Periodontal and Dental Pulp Cell-Derived Small Extracellular Vesicles: A Review of the Current Status

Nanomaterials (Basel). 2021 Jul 19;11(7):1858. doi: 10.3390/nano11071858.


Extracellular vesicles (EVs) are membrane-bound lipid particles that are secreted by all cell types and function as cell-to-cell communicators through their cargos of protein, nucleic acid, lipids, and metabolites, which are derived from their parent cells. There is limited information on the isolation and the emerging therapeutic role of periodontal and dental pulp cell-derived small EVs (sEVs, <200 nm, or exosome). In this review, we discuss the biogenesis of three EV subtypes (sEVs, microvesicles and apoptotic bodies) and the emerging role of sEVs from periodontal ligament (stem) cells, gingival fibroblasts (or gingival mesenchymal stem cells) and dental pulp cells, and their therapeutic potential in vitro and in vivo. A review of the relevant methodology found that precipitation-based kits and ultracentrifugation are the two most common methods to isolate periodontal (dental pulp) cell sEVs. Periodontal (and pulp) cell sEVs range in size, from 40 nm to 2 μm, due to a lack of standardized isolation protocols. Nevertheless, our review found that these EVs possess anti-inflammatory, osteo/odontogenic, angiogenic and immunomodulatory functions in vitro and in vivo, via reported EV cargos of EV-miRNAs, EV-circRNAs, EV-mRNAs and EV-lncRNAs. This review highlights the considerable therapeutic potential of periodontal and dental pulp cell-derived sEVs in various regenerative applications.

Keywords: cell-free therapy; exosomes; extracellular vesicles; nanomedicine; regeneration.

Publication types

  • Review