2017 Volume 38 Issue 2 Pages 135-147
We previously generated induced pluripotent stem (iPS) cells from human dental pulp cells of deciduous teeth. Neural crest cells (NCCs) play a vital role in the development of the oral and maxillofacial region. Therefore, NCCs represent a cell source for bone, cartilage, and tooth-related tissue engineering. In this study, we examined whether iPS cells are capable of differentiating into NCCs through modification of the human embryonic stem cell protocol. First, iPS cells were dissociated into single cells and then reaggregated in low-cell-adhesion plates with neural induction medium for 8 days in suspension culture to form neurospheres. The neurospheres were transferred to fibronectin-coated dishes and formed rosette structures. The migrated cells from the rosettes abundantly expressed NCC markers, as evidenced by real-time polymerase chain reaction, immunofluorescence, and flow cytometric analysis. Furthermore, the migrated cells exhibited the ability to differentiate into neural crest lineage cells in vitro. They also exhibited tissue-forming potential in vivo, differentiating into bone and cartilage. Collectively, the migrated cells had similar characteristics to those of NCCs. These results suggest that human dental pulp cell-derived iPS cells are capable of differentiating into NCCs. Therefore, iPS cell-derived NCCs represent cell sources for bone and cartilage tissue engineering.