Background and Objective: Periodontal ligament stem cells from human permanent teeth (PePDLSCs) have been investigated extensively in periodontal tissue engineering and regeneration. However, little knowledge is available on the periodontal ligament stem cells from human retained deciduous teeth (DePDLSCs). This study evaluated the potential of DePDLSCs in periodontal tissue regeneration.
Material and Methods: DePDLSCs were isolated and purified by limited dilution. The characteristics of DePDLSCs were evaluated and compared with PePDLSCs both in vitro and in vivo.
Results: DePDLSCs presented a higher proliferation rate and colony-forming capacity than PePDLSCs in vitro. During the osteogenic induction, alkaline phosphatase (ALP) activity, mineralized matrix formation and expression of mineralization-related genes, including runt-related transcription factor 2 (RUNX2), ALP, collagen type I (COLI) and osteocalcin (OCN) were significantly enhanced in DePDLSCs compared with PePDLSCs. Furthermore, DePDLSC cell sheets showed a stronger synthesis of collagen type I in the extracellular matrix than did PePDLSC cell sheets. After in vivo transplantation, DePDLSC cell sheets recombined with human dentin blocks were able to generate new cementum/periodontal ligament-like tissues.
Conclusion: Our findings suggest that DePDLSCs can be used as a promising candidate for periodontal tissue engineering.