Do dental stem cells depict distinct characteristics? — Establishing their “phenotypic fingerprint”

Deepa Ponnaiyan


Dental tissues provide an alternate source of stem cells compared with bone marrow and have a

similar potency as that of bone marrow derived mesenchymal stem cells. It has been established there

are six types of dental stem cells: Dental pulp stem cells, stem cells from human exfoliated deciduous

teeth, stem cells from apical papilla, periodontal ligament stem cells, dental follicle progenitor cells,

oral periosteum stem cells and recently gingival connective tissue stem cells . Most of the dental

tissues have a common developmental pathway; thus, it is relevant to understand whether stem

cells derived from these closely related tissues are programmed differently. The present review

analyzes whether stem cells form dental tissues depict distinct characteristics by gaining insight

into differences in their immunophenotype. In addition, to explore the possibility of establishing

a unique phenotypic fingerprint of these stem cells by identifying the unique markers that can be

used to isolate these stem cells. This, in future will help in developing better techniques and markers

for identification and utilization of these stem cells for regenerative therapy.

Key Words:Dental papilla, dental pulp, dental sac, mesenchymal stem cells, periodontal ligament, stem cells 


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