Functional differences in mesenchymal stromal cells from human dental pulp and periodontal ligament

Anoop Babu Vasandan, Shilpa Rani Shankar, Priya Prasad, Vulugundam Sowmya Jahnavi, Ramesh Ramachandra Bhonde, Susarla Jyothi Prasanna

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

45 Citations (Scopus)


Clinically reported reparative benefits of mesenchymal stromal cells (MSCs) are majorly attributed to strong immune-modulatory abilities not exactly shared by fibroblasts. However, MSCs remain heterogeneous populations, with unique tissue-specific subsets, and lack of clear-cut assays defining therapeutic stromal subsets adds further ambiguity to the field. In this context, in-depth evaluation of cellular characteristics of MSCs from proximal oro-facial tissues: dental pulp (DPSCs) and periodontal ligament (PDLSCs) from identical donors provides an opportunity to evaluate exclusive niche-specific influences on multipotency and immune-modulation. Exhaustive cell surface profiling of DPSCs and PDLSCs indicated key differences in expression of mesenchymal (CD105) and pluripotent/multipotent stem cell-associated cell surface antigens: SSEA4, CD117, CD123 and CD29. DPSCs and PDLSCs exhibited strong chondrogenic potential, but only DPSCs exhibited adipogenic and osteogenic propensities. PDLSCs expressed immuno-stimulatory/immune-adhesive ligands like HLA-DR and CD50, upon priming with IFNγ, unlike DPSCs, indicating differential response patterns to pro-inflammatory cytokines. Both DPSCs and PDLSCs were hypo-immunogenic and did not elicit robust allogeneic responses despite exposure to IFNγ or TNFα. Interestingly, only DPSCs attenuated mitogen-induced lympho-proliferative responses and priming with either IFNγ or TNFα enhanced immuno-modulation capacity. In contrast, primed or unprimed PDLSCs lacked the ability to suppress polyclonal T cell blast responses. This study indicates that stromal cells from even topographically related tissues do not necessarily share identical MSC properties and emphasizes the need for a thorough functional testing of MSCs from diverse sources with respect to multipotency, immune parameters and response to pro-inflammatory cytokines before translational usage.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)344-354
Number of pages11
JournalJournal of Cellular and Molecular Medicine
Issue number2
Publication statusPublished - 01-02-2014

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Molecular Medicine
  • Cell Biology


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