Award Date


Degree Type


Degree Name

Master of Science (MS)


Dental Medicine

First Committee Member

Karl Kingsley

Second Committee Member

Rhonda Everett

Third Committee Member

Cliff Seran

Fourth Committee Member

James Mah

Fifth Committee Member

Timothy Bungum

Number of Pages



Mesenchymal stem cells (MSC) may be derived from a variety of adult human tissues, including dental pulp from extracted or exfoliated teeth. Evidence suggests differences in both the quality and quantity of the dental pulp-derived mesenchymal stem cells (DPSC) obtained from different sources, such as primary or "baby teeth" and adult, permanent teeth. This study aimed to evaluate the potential to obtain DPSC from intact, vital permanent teeth, and characterize the potential isolates using a randomized selection of active dental patients from the University of Nevada, Las Vegas School of Dental Medicine (UNLVSODM). DPSC were extracted, isolated, cultured and characterized using microscopy and RT-PCR analysis of extracted RNA. DPSC isolates were derived from 30/31 (96.8%) of tissue explants using the direct outgrowth (DO) method; mainly giving rise to uncommitted MSC progenitors with rapid doubling times (rDT, n=25/30 or 83.3%) and positive mRNA expression of MSC markers CD44, CD24, NANOG, Oct-4 and Sox2. DPSC isolates with slower doubling times (sDT, n=3/30 or 10%) and more limited differentiation potentials resembled neural or odontoblastic progenitor cells (sDT:NPC or sDT:OPC). Cell lines expressed neural differentiation markers CD133 and fÒIII tubulin or the odontoblastic differentiation marker, dentin sialophosphoprotein precursor (DSPP), and had lower survival and viability rates following freezing, long-term storage and thawing. The need to identify potential sources of MSC to better treat age-related illnesses in the current population makes it necessary to more fully explore the feasibility and potential of DPSCs extracted from adult human teeth for this newly developing field of regenerative medicine.


Cells; Dental; Dental pulp; Mesenchymal stem cells; Pulp; Stem


Dentistry | Medicine and Health Sciences

File Format


Degree Grantor

University of Nevada, Las Vegas




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