Characterization of α-smooth muscle actin positive cells during multilineage differentiation of dental pulp stem cells
Article first published online: 8 APR 2012
© 2012 Blackwell Publishing Ltd
Volume 45, Issue 3, pages 259–265, June 2012
How to Cite
Zhao, X., Gong, P., Lin, Y., Wang, J., Yang, X. and Cai, X. (2012), Characterization of α-smooth muscle actin positive cells during multilineage differentiation of dental pulp stem cells. Cell Proliferation, 45: 259–265. doi: 10.1111/j.1365-2184.2012.00818.x
- Issue published online: 17 APR 2012
- Article first published online: 8 APR 2012
- Manuscript Accepted: 22 FEB 2012
- Manuscript Received: 5 JAN 2012
- Natural Science Foundation of China. Grant Numbers: 81071273, 31170929
- Foundation for Authors of National Excellent Doctoral Dissertation. Grant Number: FANEDD 200977
- Program for New Century Excellent Talents. Grant Number: NCET-08-0373
- Funding for Distinguished Young Scientists in Sichuan. Grant Number: 2010JQ0066
Dental pulp tissue contains stem cells that can differentiate into multiple lineages under specific culture conditions; the origin of these dental pulp stem cells, however, is still unknown.
Materials and methods
Here we have utilized an α-SMA-GFP transgenic mouse model to characterize expression of a-smooth muscle actin (SMA)-GFP in subpassages of pulp-tissue-derived dental pulp cells, as perivascular cells express α-SMA.
During subculturing, percentages of cells expressing a-SMA increased signi?cantly from passage 1 to 3. α-SMA-GFP-positive cells expanded faster than α-SMA-GFP-negative cells. The dental pulp cells at passage 3 were induced towards osteogenic, adipogenic or chondrogenic differentiation. All three differentiated cell lines expressed high levels of α-SMA (mineralized nodules, lipid droplets and chondrocyte pellets). GFP expression colocalized with differentiated osteoblasts, adipocytes and chondrocytes. Co-culturing the α-SMA-GFP-positive cells with human endothelial cells promoted formation of tube-like structures and robust vascular networks, in 3-D culture.
Taken together, the a-SMA-GFP-positive cells were shown to have multilieange differentiation ability and to promote vascularization in a co-culture system with endothelial cells.