Saturday, 16 March 2013

Stem cells generate long standing human mandibles

A collaborative team of researchers, led by Gianpaolo Papaccio, just released a follow-up study on human patients, showing that mesenchymal stem cells have the capacity to partially regenerate the mandible (lower jaw) following a molar extraction.

In this study, the researchers followed the progress of human patients that had received a transplant, three years ago, with the purpose to regenerate their lower jaw bone. All patients presented with severe bone loss following the extraction of their third molar whereas the transplant was comprised of a collagenous scaffold seeded with mesenchymal stem cells (MSCs) extracted from dental pulp, the part in the centre of a tooth.

Image showinng the human tooth anatomy
Human tooth anatomy

It was found that the grafts had generated normal, healthy and richly vascularized bone that was functioning properly. An interesting fact was that the generated bone was actually more dense than the one we originally have, which has a more spongy-like nature. However, the researchers say that this may actually be a good thing as the new mandibles seemed to be "steadier", and may even have "higher resistance to mechanical, physical, chemical, and pharmacological agents". It is believed that the newly generated bone had a different nature due to the transplanted MSCs being unable to follow the local signals of the surrounding environment.

Notable is the lack of any adverse effects in the operated sites, including morbidity,infection and swelling.

The human mandible (inferior maxillary bone) forms the lower jaw and is the largest and strongest bone of the face. It acts as a receptor of the lower teeth. It consists of a curved, horizontal portion, the body, and two perpendicular portions, the rami, which unite with the ends of the body nearly at right angles.

Picture of a human mandible
A human mandible

ALESSANDRAGIULIANI, ADRIAN MANESCU, MAX LANGER, FRANCO RUSTICHELLI, VINCENZO DESIDERIO, FRANCESCA PAINO, ALFREDO DE ROSA, LUIGI LAINO, RICCARDO D’AQUINO, VIRGINIA TIRINO, & GIANPAOLO PAPACCIO (2013). Three Years After Transplants in Human Mandibles, Histological and In-Line Holotomography Revealed That Stem Cells Regenerated a Compact Rather Than a Spongy Bone: Biological and Clinical Implications STEM CELLS Translational Medicine

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