Neural Crest Stem Cells from Dental Tissues: A New Hope for Dental and Neural Regeneration
Origin and differentiation potential of dental ectomesenchymal stem cells (EMSCs). (a) Origin of neural crest stem cells (NCSCs). The neural crest arises as a cell population belonging to the fusing edges of the neuroectoderm. After neural tube fusion, neural crest cells undergo an epithelial-mesenchymal transition (EMT), where they transform into EMSCs. EMSCs migrate to generate the majority of craniofacial tissues, including tooth tissues fat, muscle, bone, and cartilage tissues, as well as cranial peripheral ganglia and nerves, among others. (b) EMSCs are retained in the adult dental pulp and periodontal tissues. These cells keep the potential to differentiate to various cell lineages and thus regenerate different dental and connective tissues. Dental EMSCs appear to hold a particularly high neurogenic potential and may also be used to regenerate nerve tissue.