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Long-term cryopreservation of dental pulp stem cells (SBP-DPSCs) and their differentiated osteoblasts: A cell source for tissue repair



It is not known whether cells derived from stem cells retain their differentiation and morpho-functional properties after long-term cryopreservation. This information is of importance to evaluate their potential for long-term storage with a view to subsequent use in therapy. Here, we describe the morpho-functional properties of dental pulp stem cells (SBP-DPSCs), and of their differentiated osteoblasts, recovered after long-term cryopreservation. After storage for 2 years, we found that stem cells are still capable of differentiation, and that their differentiated cytotypes proliferate and produce woven bone tissue. In addition, cells still express all their respective surface antigens, confirming cellular integrity. In particular, SBP-DPSCs differentiated into pre-osteoblasts, showing diffuse positivity for ALP, BAP, RUNX-2, and calcein. Recovered osteoblasts expressed bone-specific markers and were easily recognizable ultrastructurally, with no alterations observed at this level. In addition, after in vivo transplantation, woven bone converted into a 3D lamellar bone type. Therefore, dental pulp stem cells and their osteoblast-derived cells can be long-term cryopreserved and may prove to be attractive for clinical applications. J. Cell. Physiol. 208: 319–325, 2006. © 2006 Wiley-Liss, Inc.