Dental pulp stem cells (DPSC) are adult stem cells that can be found in the pulp tissue within one tooth. Typically, dental pulp tissue can be obtained from a naturally fallen tooth or extracted tooth (e.g. wisdom tooth) via orthodontic surgeries).
Stem cells from human exfoliated deciduous teeth (SHED) are stem cells that can be found in the pulp tissue of milk teeth that are the first set of teeth in the growth development of humans. The dental pulp tissues can be retrieved from freshly fallen milk teeth of children aged between 6-10 years old.
The reasons that make DPSC and SHED the good candidates for stem cell regenerative therapy are attributable to their high plasticity as well as their ability to differentiate into various types of cells including pancreatic b-cells and neurons. In vivo studies have shown that injected SHED migrated to pancreas, lowered the blood glucose level and extended the life quality of a diabetic rat. Aside from that, the neural crest origin of SHED also shows its potential to be used in neurodegenerative diseases and other neuron-related diseases including Parkinson’s disease, Alzheimer’s disease, and spinal cord injuries.