Indexed on: 25 Mar '11Published on: 25 Mar '11Published in: Methods in molecular biology (Clifton, N.J.)
Dentinal repair in teeth occurs through the activity of specialized cells known as odontoblasts that are thought to be maintained by a precursor population associated with the perivascular cells within dental pulp tissue. We have previously isolated candidate dental pulp stem cells (DPSC) from adult human third molars, with the ability to generate clonogenic cell clusters (CFU-F: colony-forming units-fibroblastic), a high proliferation rate, and multi-potential differentiation in vitro. When cultured DPSC are transplanted into immunocompromised mice, they generated a dentin-like structure lined with human odontoblast-like cells that surrounded a pulp-like interstitial tissue, composed of collagen and a vascular network. The present protocol describes a methodology to generate highly purified preparations of human DPSC. This process involves the enzymatic digestion of fresh samples of human dental pulp tissue followed by the isolation of DPSC using magnetic bead cell separation, based on their expression of mesenchymal stem cell associated markers.