Dental stem cells become increasingly attractive for the use in bone regeneration. In the present invention, non-embryonic stem cells from apical perifollicular tissue (dental neural crest-derived progenitor cells, dNC-PCs) of retained human third molars have been isolated and characterized as osteogenic progenitor cells.
The cells have been derived from a tissue that is located in the immediate vicinity of immature developing teeth or wisdom teeth. The living soft tissue residing underneath the dental papilla is clearly distinguished from other tooth tissue, such as dental papilla or follicle. The neural crest-derived and multipotent cells can be stimulated to differentiate into bone-forming cells or craniofacial cells or tissue as well as into nerve tissue. Because the dNC-PCs are neural crest derived and express the corresponding markers, they should be suitable to replace all the neural crest-derived craniofacial tissues.
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