Human dental pulp stem cells differentiate into neural precursors but not into mature functional neurons


Large numbers of neuronal cells are needed for regenerative medicine to treat patients suffering from central nervous system diseases and deficits such as Parkinson’s disease and spinal cord injury. One suggestion has been the utilization of human dental pulp stem cells (hDPSCs) for production of neuronal cells which would offer a patient-specific cell source for these treatments. Neuronal differentiation of hDPSCs has been described previously. Here, we tested the differentiation of DPSCs into neuronal cells with previously reported protocol and characterized the cells according to their morphology, gene and protein expressions and most importantly according to their spontaneous electrical functionality with microelectrode array platform (MEA). Our results showed that even though hDPSC-derived neural progenitor stage cells could be produced, these cells did not mature further into functional neuronal cells. Thus, utilization of DPSCs as a cell source for producing grafts to treat neurological deficits requires more efforts before being optimal.

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Aanismaa, R. , Hautala, J. , Vuorinen, A. , Miettinen, S. and Narkilahti, S. (2012) Human dental pulp stem cells differentiate into neural precursors but not into mature functional neurons. Stem Cell Discovery, 2, 85-91. doi: 10.4236/scd.2012.23013.

Conflicts of Interest

The authors declare no conflicts of interest.


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