Mesenchymal stem cells (MSCs) are multipotent stem cells with wide-ranging clinical applications
due to their ability to regenerate tissue from mesenchymal origin and their capability of suppressing
immune responses, thus reducing the likelihood of graft versus host disease after transplantation.
MSCs can be isolated from a variety of sources including bone marrow, adipose tissue, umbilical
cord blood, and immature teeth. Dental stem cells (DSCs) possess progenitor and immunomodulatory
abilities as the other MSC types and because they can be easily isolated, are considered as attractive
therapeutic agents in regenerative dentistry. Recently, it has been shown that DSCs seeded onto newly
developed synthetic biomaterial scaffolds have retained their potential for proliferation and at the same
time have enhanced capabilities for differentiation and immunosuppression. The scaffolds are becoming
more efficient at MSC priming as researchers learn how short peptide sequences alter the adhesive
and proliferative capabilities of the scaffolds by stimulating or inhibiting classical osteogenic pathways.
New findings on how to modulate the inflammatory microenvironment, which can prime DSCs
for differentiation, combined with the use of next generation scaffolds may significantly improve their
therapeutic potential. In this review, we summarize current findings regarding DSCs as a potential
regenerative therapy, including stem cell priming with inflammatory cytokines, types of scaffolds currently
being explored and the modulation of scaffolds to regulate immune response and promote
Keywords: Mesenchymal stem cells, dental stem cells, immunomodulation, scaffold, differentiation, cytokines.
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