Adult postnatal stem cells are multipotent and can be experimentally induced to differentiate into various specialized cell lineages. This has generated considerable interest in the arena of stem cell-based therapeutics. The identification of stem cells within the periodontal ligament represents a significant development in this regard. Achieving predictable periodontal regeneration has long been a challenge, and it is known that cells involved in the mechanisms of periodontal wound healing are of mesenchymal stem cell (MSC) type. Thus, periodontal ligament stem cell (PDLSC)-based therapeutics may be a step towards predictable periodontal regeneration. Additionally, PDLSC may have alternative potential applications in hard tissue and tooth engineering. PDLSC may be isolated, grown under tissue culture conditions, expanded, optionally genetically modified and then collected and transplanted. This paper aims to overview the current knowledge, recent developments and methodology regarding PDLSC-based applications.
2010 by Japanese Association for Oral Biology