Differential Effects of Bone Morphogenic Protein (BMP) and Vascular Endothelial Growth Factor (VEGF) on Dental Pulp Stem Cell (DPSC) Subpopulations

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EC Dental Science





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Introduction: Recent work has demonstrated therapeutic and clinical applications for autologous dental pulp stem cells (DPSC) for bone tissue regeneration and bioengineering. Bone morphogenic protein (BMP) is a powerful growth factor that may be sufficient to modulate and regulate Mesenchymal Stem Cell (MSC) (and potentially DPSC) differentiation. Therefore, the primary objective of the current study was to evaluate the potential for BMP (alone and in combination) to induce changes to specific DPSC phenotypes. Methods: Using previously isolated DPSC, six (n = 6) isolates were treated with either BMP-2, Vascular Endothelial Growth Factor (VEGF) or both. Trypan blue viability assays and 96-well growth and proliferation assays were performed to determine any changes to DPSC phenotypes. Results: The data clearly demonstrated that one subset of DPSC isolates (slow doubling time) exhibited significant increased viability under both BMP-2 and combined VEGF-BMP-2 administration. Differential and variable increases in cell growth were observed among the corresponding slow DPSC isolates, which suggests more complex relationships between growth and growth factor administration may be present. No similar effects were observed with the other subset of DPSC isolates (intermediate doubling time) and no effects on either growth or viability were observed under VEGF administration alone. Conclusion: Although only a limited number of DSPC isolates could be evaluated, the data from this study revealed a strong and significant change to sDT DPSC phenotypes (growth and viability) under BMP-2 administration (either alone or in combination with VEGF). These changes appear to be restricted to this subpopulation of DPSC, which may provide some insight into the mechanisms and underlying biology responsible for these observations. Future studies may be needed to evaluate the potential for BMP-2 and other growth factors to induce DPSC differentiation and lineage-specific phenotypic changes for bioengineering applications or tissue regeneration.


Dental pulp stem cell; Bone morphogenic protein; Vascular endothelial growth factor; Biomedical engineering


Biomedical Engineering and Bioengineering | Dentistry | Engineering | Medicine and Health Sciences



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