The dental pulp has irreplaceable roles in maintaining healthy teeth and its regeneration is a primary aim of regenerative endodontics. This study aimed to replicate the characteristics of dental pulp tissue by using cranial neural crest (CNC)-like cells (CNCLCs); these cells were generated by modifying several steps of a previously established method for deriving NC-like cells from induced pluripotent stem cells (iPSCs). CNC is the anterior region of the neural crest in vertebrate embryos, which contains the primordium of dental pulp cells or odontoblasts. The produced CNCLCs showed approximately 2.5–12,000-fold upregulations of major CNC marker genes. Furthermore, the CNCLCs exhibited remarkable odontoblastic differentiation ability, especially when treated with a combination of the fibroblast growth factors (FGFs) FGF4 and FGF9. The FGFs induced odontoblast marker genes by 1.7–5.0-fold, as compared to bone morphogenetic protein 4 (BMP4) treatment. In a mouse subcutaneous implant model, the CNCLCs briefly fated with FGF4 + FGF9 replicated dental pulp tissue characteristics, such as harboring odontoblast-like cells, a dentin-like layer, and vast neovascularization, induced by the angiogenic self-assembling peptide hydrogel (SAPH), SLan. SLan acts as a versatile biocompatible scaffold in the canal space. This study demonstrated a successful collaboration between regenerative medicine and SAPH technology.
All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes
- Biomedical Engineering
- Angiogenic self-assembling peptide hydrogel
- Cranial neural crest
- Fibroblast growth factor
- Odontoblastic differentiation
- Regenerative endodontics