Stem Cells

P179 - Novel Stem Cell Sources for Cartilage Restoration: Human Dental Pulp Stem Cells Systematic Review



Symptomatic cartilage lesions and early osteoarthritis are a musculoskeletal issue with both significant clinical and considerable economic burden. While cartilage repair has the potential for symptomatic improvement and delay of joint replacement, complete regeneration of hyaline cartilage has been an elusive goal. Choice of harvesting site might influence the cells’ abilities to modulate immunologic and inflammatory response. Recently, dental pulp has been shown to contain a stem cell niche containing dental pulp stem cells (DPSCs) that maintain their self-renewal capacity due to the active environment in the dental pulp of deciduous teeth. The aim of this study was to critically review the current literature on the potential and limitations of dental pulp derived mesenchymal stem cells for cell-based therapies in cartilage regeneration.

Methods and Materials

An electronic customized search of scientific articles was conducted using PubMed/ MEDLINE and EMBASE databases from their inception to December 2018. Inclusion criteria were applied and the manuscripts that described dental pulp stem cells usage for cartilage treatment were selected for complete evaluation. The articles were classified according to scaffold used, experimental model, features of chondrogenic differentiation, local of the defect, cartilage evaluation and results. After application of eligibility criteria, a total of 9 studies were selected and fully analyzed.


A variety of animal models were used, including mice, rat, rabbit and miniature pig, to evaluate repair quality and safety of human DPSCs for the repair of cartilage defects. Among manuscripts, six studies created local chondral defects in small animal models, while two studies focused on translational models for cartilage tissue engineering.


Transplantation and preclinical trials have demonstrated the strong potential for regenerative tissue-engineering protocols using dental pulp stem cells. The pre-clinical evidence discussed in this study provides a solid foundation for future clinical trials.