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YEAR : 2020

Dental mesenchymal stem cells and neuro-regeneration: a focus on spinal cord injury

AUTHORS : Bonaventure G, Incontro S, Iemmolo R, La Cognata V, Barbagallo I, Costanzo E, Barcellona ML, Pelliteri R, Cavallaro S.

JOURNAL : Cell Tissue Research
Regenerative medicine is a branch of translational research that aims to reestablish irreparably damaged tissues and organs by stimulating the body's own repair mechanisms via the implantation of stem cells differentiated into specialized cell types. A rich source of adult stem cells is located inside the tooth and is represented by human dental pulp stem cells, or hDPSCs. These cells are characterized by a high proliferative rate, have self-renewal and multi-lineage differentiation properties and are often used for tissue engineering and regenerative medicine. The present review will provide an overview of hDPSCs and related features with a special focus on their potential applications in regenerative medicine of the nervous system, such as, for example, after spinal cord injury. Recent advances in the identification and characterization of dental stem cells and in dental tissue engineering strategies suggest that bioengineering approaches may successfully be used to regenerate districts of the central nervous system, previously considered irreparable.