Neural crest derived stem cells from dental pulp and tooth-Associated stem cells for peripheral nerve regeneration

Alessandra Pisciotta, Laura Bertoni, Antonio Vallarola, Giulia Bertani, Daniela Mecugni, Gianluca Carnevale

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review


The peripheral nerve injuries, representing some of the most common types of traumatic lesions affecting the nervous system, are highly invalidating for the patients besides being a huge social burden. Although peripheral nervous system owns a higher regenerative capacity than does central nervous system, mostly depending on Schwann cells intervention in injury repair, several factors determine the extent of functional outcome after healing. Based on the injury type, different therapeutic approaches have been investigated so far. Nerve grafting and Schwann cell transplantation have represented the gold standard treatment for peripheral nerve injuries, however these approaches own limitations, such as scarce donor nerve availability and donor site morbidity. Cell based therapies might provide a suitable tool for peripheral nerve regeneration, in fact, the ability of different stem cell types to differentiate towards Schwann cells in combination with the use of different scaffolds have been widely investigated in animal models of peripheral nerve injuries in the last decade. Dental pulp is a promising cell source for regenerative medicine, because of the ease of isolation procedures, stem cell proliferation and multipotency abilities, which are due to the embryological origin from neural crest. In this article we review the literature concerning the application of tooth derived stem cell populations combined with different conduits to peripheral nerve injuries animal models, highlighting their regenerative contribution exerted through either glial differentiation and neuroprotective/neurotrophic effects on the host tissue.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)373-381
Number of pages9
JournalNeural Regeneration Research
Issue number3
Publication statusPublished - Mar 1 2020
Externally publishedYes


  • Glial differentiation
  • Human dental pulp stem cells
  • Nerve regeneration
  • Neural crest
  • Neuroprotection
  • Tooth

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Developmental Neuroscience


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