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Stem Cells International
Volume 2016 (2016), Article ID 6979368, 11 pages
Research Article

Bladder Smooth Muscle Cells Differentiation from Dental Pulp Stem Cells: Future Potential for Bladder Tissue Engineering

1School of Dentistry, Cardiff Institute of Tissue Engineering and Repair, Cardiff University, Heath Park, Cardiff CF14 4XY, UK
2State Key Laboratory of Military Stomatology, Department of Operative Dentistry & Endodontics, School of Stomatology, Fourth Military Medical University, Shaanxi 710032, China
3Department of Urology/Surgery, Cardiff University and University Hospital of Wales, Heath Park, Cardiff CF14 4XW, UK

Received 3 July 2015; Revised 14 September 2015; Accepted 27 September 2015

Academic Editor: Yuqingeugene Chen

Copyright © 2016 Bing Song et al. This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.


Dental pulp stem cells (DPSCs) are multipotent cells capable of differentiating into multiple cell lines, thus providing an alternative source of cell for tissue engineering. Smooth muscle cell (SMC) regeneration is a crucial step in tissue engineering of the urinary bladder. It is known that DPSCs have the potential to differentiate into a smooth muscle phenotype in vitro with differentiation agents. However, most of these studies are focused on the vascular SMCs. The optimal approaches to induce human DPSCs to differentiate into bladder SMCs are still under investigation. We demonstrate in this study the ability of human DPSCs to differentiate into bladder SMCs in a growth environment containing bladder SMCs-conditioned medium with the addition of the transforming growth factor beta 1 (TGF-β1). After 14 days of exposure to this medium, the gene and protein expression of SMC-specific marker (α-SMA, desmin, and calponin) increased over time. In particular, myosin was present in differentiated cells after 11 days of induction, which indicated that the cells differentiated into the mature SMCs. These data suggested that human DPSCs could be used as an alternative and less invasive source of stem cells for smooth muscle regeneration, a technology that has applications for bladder tissue engineering.