Introduction: Tissue regeneration and biomedical engineering are the goals of modern research that have made tremendous strides in recent years. Dental pulp stem cells (DPSCs) have been demonstrated to exhibit functional multipotency, differentiating into neurons, adipocytes, and other cell types. The primary goal of this study was to investigate the ability of bone morphogenic protein (BMP-2) to induce proliferation and differentiation of DPSC isolates into mineral forming bone cell precursor lineages.
Study Design: This was a prospective study with the non-randomised experimental design.
Place and Duration of Study: This study was conducted at the University of Nevada, Las Vegas – School of Dental Medicine between May 2017 and August 2018.
Methodology: Eight previously isolated dental pulp stem cell (DPSC) isolates were grown in culture and treated with bone morphogenic protein (BMP-2) to evaluate any effects on growth, viability or biomarker expression.
Results: BMP-2 induced significant changes in cellular growth among a subset of DPSC with slow doubling times (sDT), which corresponded with similar increases in cellular viability. Also, BMP-2 was sufficient to induce mRNA expression of alkaline phosphatase (ALP) and other differentiation markers among the sDT isolates – although no significant changes were observed among the DPSC isolates with rapid or intermediate DTs (rDT, iDT).
Conclusions: This study may be the first to demonstrate not only the differential responsiveness of DPSC isolates to BMP-2, but also to identify the MSC biomarkers that may affect initial DPSC responsiveness to this stimulus. Although many studies have evaluated the role of the biomarkers NANOG, Sox-2 and Oct-4 in DPSC isolate, no other study of DPSC multipotency has evaluated the role of Nestin – which may be one of the key factors that potentiate or limits the responsiveness to BMP-2 and osteogenic potential among DPSCs.