Moreover, these cells useful site are available in virtually all post-natal tissues. There, they occupy a perivascular niche to support and maintain different connective and skeletal tissues.22 This fact makes very probable that other new sources may come up in the future since MSCs obtained from different places show close phenotypic characteristics. However, it is still unclear whether we may be dealing with the same MSCs or not because proliferation and differentiation capabilities in the presence of different growth factor stimulus do differ depending on the source of origin. For instance, bone marrow mesenchymal stem cells (BM-MSCs) have a tendency to loose their proliferative potential with age and it is notorious the lost of differentiation capabilities after age 20.
23 On the contrary, it has been shown that mesenchymal stem cells from the dental pulp (DPSCs) have higher proliferation index and growth potential even though both stem cell populations (BM-MSCs and DPSCs) still express very close surface markers such as Stro-1, CD44, 3G5, CD146 and CD106.23 As a matter of fact, Wagner et al24 performed a gene expression profile study of MSCs coming from different origins (bone marrow, adipose tissue and cord blood) and compared them to HS68 fibroblasts. They showed that, though MSCs coming from different donors and exposed to the same culture conditions gave rise to a stable and reproducible gene expression profile, MSCs from different sources or cultured with different procedures differentially expressed many genes.
On the contrary, no differences were found in a subset of 22 surface antigen markers suggesting that MSCs from different origin may share common phenotypic and receptor expression but indeed, they seem to be distinct at the genetic level. Peculiar differences are also seen in their differentiation potential where certain MSCs have been reported to show either tendencies or difficulties to differentiate into specific cellular lineages. For instance, DPSCs predominantly differentiate into bone and neurons25,26 and it has already been described unsuccessful trials for adipogenic differentiation in umbilical cord mesenchymal stem cells (UC-MSCs).27 Taking all these facts together we may conclude that even general biological characteristics of MSCs coming from different sources are common and comparable, major differences come up in terms of expansion and differentiation potential which should be taken under consideration before future clinical and therapeutic approaches.
THE DENTAL PULP STEM CELL NICHE After injury, the dental pulp (Figure 3) plays a major role in tooth regeneration by participating in a process called reparative dentinogenesis, where cells create and accumulate new dentin matrix to repair Cilengitide the damaged area.28 Bigger traumas or advanced caries, for instance, can eventually cause the death of the pre-existing population of odontoblast.