Comparative analysis of dental pulp and periodontal stem cells: Differences in morphology, functionality, osteogenic differentiation and proteome

Anastasia V. Kotova, Arseniy A. Lobov, Julia A. Dombrovskaya, Valentina Y. Sannikova, Nadezhda A. Ryumina, Polina Klausen, Alexey L. Shavarda, Anna B. Malashicheva, Natella I. Enukashvily

    Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


    Dental stem cells are heterogeneous in their properties. Despite their common origin from neural crest stem cells, they have different functional capacities and biological functions due to niche influence. In this study, we assessed the differences between dental pulp stem cells (DPSC) and periodontal ligament stem cells (PDLSC) in their pluripotency and neuroepithelial markers transcription, morphological and functional features, osteoblast/odontoblast differentiation and proteomic profile during osteogenic differentiation. The data were collected in paired observations: two cell cultures, DPSC and PDLSC, were obtained from each donor. Both populations had the mesenchymal stem cells surface marker set exposed on their membranes but differed in Nestin (a marker of neuroectodermal origin) expression, morphology, and proliferation rate. OCT4 mRNA was revealed in DPSC and PDLSC, while OCT4 protein was present in the nuclei of DPSC only. However, transcription of OCT4 mRNA was 1000–10,000-fold lower in dental stem cells than in blastocysts. DPSC proliferated at a slower rate and have a shape closer to polygonal but they responded better to osteogenic stimuli as compared to PDLSC. RUNX2 mRNA was detected by qPCR in both types of dental stem cells but RUNX2 protein was detected by LC-MS/MS shotgun proteomics only in PDLSC suggesting the posttranscriptional regulation. DSPP and DMP1, marker genes of odontoblastic type of osteogenic differentiation, were transcribed in DPSC but not in PDLSC samples. Our results prove that DPSC and PDLSC are different in their biology and therapeutic potential: DPSC are a good candidate for osteogenic or odontogenic bone-replacement cell-seeded medicines, while fast proliferating PDLSC are a prospective candidate for other cell products.

    Original languageEnglish
    Article number1606
    Issue number11
    StatePublished - Nov 2021

    Scopus subject areas

    • Medicine (miscellaneous)
    • Biochemistry, Genetics and Molecular Biology(all)


    • Dental pulp stem cells
    • Dental stem cells
    • Mass-spectrometry
    • Odontoblastic differentiation
    • Osteogenic differentiation
    • Periodontal ligament stem cells
    • Pluripotency
    • Proteomics
    • Somatic OCT4
    • SSEA-4


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