Primary periodontal ligament stem cells (PDLSCs) are known to possess multidifferentiation potential and exhibit an immunophenotype similar to that described for bone-marrow-derived mesenchymal stem cells. In the present study, bromo-deoxyuridine (BrdU)-labeled ovine PDLSCs implanted into immunodeficient mice survived after 8 weeks post-transplantation and exhibited the capacity to form bone/cementum-like mineralized tissue, ligament structures similar to Sharpey's fibers with an associated vasculature. To evaluate self-renewal potential, PDLSCs were recovered from harvested primary transplants 8 weeks post-transplantation that exhibit an immunophenotype and multipotential capacity comparable to primary PDLSCs. The re-derived PDLSCs isolated from primary transplants were implanted into secondary ectopic xenogeneic transplants. Histomorphological analysis demonstrated that four out of six donor re-derived PDLSC populations displayed a capacity to survive and form fibrous ligament structures and mineralized tissues associated with vasculature in vivo, although at diminished levels in comparison to primary PDLSCs. Further, the capacity for long-term survival and the potential role of PDLSCs in dental tissue regeneration were determined using an ovine preclinical periodontal defect model. Autologous ex vivo-expanded PDLSCs that were prelabeled with BrdU were seeded onto Gelfoam® scaffolds and then transplanted into fenestration defects surgically created in the periodontium of the second premolars. Histological assessment at 8 weeks post-implantation revealed surviving BrdU-positive PDLSCs associated with regenerated periodontium-related tissues, including cementum and bone-like structures. This is the first report to demonstrate the self-renewal capacity of PDLSCs using serial xenogeneic transplants and provides evidence of the long-term survival and tissue contribution of autologous PDLSCs in a preclinical periodontal defect model.
All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes
- Developmental Biology
- Cell Biology