Dental pulp pluripotent-like stem cells (DPPSC), a new stem cell population with chromosomal stability and osteogenic capacity for biomaterials evaluation

Raquel Núñez-Toldrà, Ester Martínez-Sarrà, Carlos Gil-Recio, Miguel Ángel Carrasco, Ashraf Al Madhoun, Sheyla Montori, Maher Atari

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

10 Citations (Scopus)


Background: Biomaterials are widely used to regenerate or substitute bone tissue. In order to evaluate their potential use for clinical applications, these need to be tested and evaluated in vitro with cell culture models. Frequently, immortalized osteoblastic cell lines are used in these studies. However, their uncontrolled proliferation rate, phenotypic changes or aberrations in mitotic processes limits their use in long-term investigations. Recently, we described a new pluripotent-like subpopulation of dental pulp stem cells derived from the third molars (DPPSC) that shows genetic stability and shares some pluripotent characteristics with embryonic stem cells. In this study we aim to describe the use of DPPSC to test biomaterials, since we believe that the biomaterial cues will be more critical in order to enhance the differentiation of pluripotent stem cells. Methods: The capacity of DPPSC to differentiate into osteogenic lineage was compared with human sarcoma osteogenic cell line (SAOS-2). Collagen and titanium were used to assess the cell behavior in commonly used biomaterials. The analyses were performed by flow cytometry, alkaline phosphatase and mineralization stains, RT-PCR, immunohistochemistry, scanning electron microscopy, Western blot and enzymatic activity. Moreover, the genetic stability was evaluated and compared before and after differentiation by short-comparative genomic hybridization (sCGH). Results: DPPSC showed excellent differentiation into osteogenic lineages expressing bone-related markers similar to SAOS-2. When cells were cultured on biomaterials, DPPSC showed higher initial adhesion levels. Nevertheless, their osteogenic differentiation showed similar trend among both cell types. Interestingly, only DPPSC maintained a normal chromosomal dosage before and after differentiation on 2D monolayer and on biomaterials. Conclusions: Taken together, these results promote the use of DPPSC as a new pluripotent-like cell model to evaluate the biocompatibility and the differentiation capacity of biomaterials used in bone regeneration.

Original languageEnglish
Article number21
JournalBMC Cell Biology
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - 21 Apr 2017


  • Biomaterials
  • Dental pulp
  • Genetic stability
  • Osteogenic differentiation
  • Pluripotency
  • Stem cells


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