Human dental pulp cells are a valuable source for the generation of patient-specific induced pluripotent stem cells (hiPSCs). We previously generated hiPSCs from deciduous dental pulp cells using three factors, Oct3/4, Sox2, and Klf4 and evaluated the feasibility of hiPSCs as substrates for tooth-forming cells.
Third molar tooth buds were extracted from the mandibles of 6-month-old pigs. After removal of the calcified tissues, the heterogeneous cells were isolated from third molar tooth and then were mixed with hiPSCs. The mixed cells were seeded in poly (D, L-lactoc-coglycolic acid) (PLGA) scaffolds and then were transplanted into the omentum of the immunocompromised rats. The implants were harvested at 16 weeks after transplantation. Histologically, a number of small pieces of tooth-like tissues were observed in the implants. Enamel structure, dentin-predentin complex, and cementum structure were present histologically and the specific cells were stained positive for both human mitochondria and specific antibodies. The results suggested that hiPSCs have a potential to differentiate into ameloblasts, odontoblasts, and cementoblasts.