Clinical Oral Investigations

, Volume 21, Issue 4, pp 1095–1102 | Cite as

Comparison of periodontal ligament and gingiva-derived mesenchymal stem cells for regenerative therapies

  • Silvia Santamaría
  • Nerea Sanchez
  • Mariano Sanz
  • Jose A. Garcia-Sanz
Original Article



Tissue-engineering therapies using undifferentiated mesenchymal cells (MSCs) from intra-oral origin have been tested in experimental animals. This experimental study compared the characteristics of undifferentiated mesenchymal stem cells from either periodontal ligament or gingival origin, aiming to establish the basis for the future use of these cells on regenerative therapies.

Materials and methods

Gingiva-derived mesenchymal stem cells (GMSCs) were obtained from de-epithelialized gingival biopsies, enzymatically digested and expanded in conditions of exponential growth. Their growth characteristics, phenotype, and differentiation ability were compared with those of periodontal ligament-derived mesenchymal stem cells (PDLMSCs).


Both periodontal ligament- and gingiva-derived cells displayed a MSC-like phenotype and were able to differentiate into osteoblasts, chondroblasts, and adipocytes. These cells were genetically stable following in vitro expansion and did not generate tumors when implanted in immunocompromised mice. Furthermore, under suboptimal growth conditions, GMSCs proliferated with higher rates than PDLMSCs.


Stem cells derived from gingival biopsies represent bona fide MSCs and have demonstrated genetic stability and lack of tumorigenicity.

Clinical relevance

Gingiva-derived MSCs may represent an accessible source of messenchymal stem cells to be used in future periodontal regenerative therapies.


Mesenchymal stem cells Tissue engineering Periodontal ligament Gingival Periodontal regeneration 



We would like to thank the CIB FACS and animal facilities, Dr. C. Bernabeu (CIB-CSIC) and the Developmental Studies Hybridoma Bank, Iowa University, for P4A4mAb. The work carried out in the author’s laboratories received financing from the Spanish Ministry of Health (EC10-095) and the Osteology Foundation (#10-063) to MS, and Instituto de Salud Carlos III (RD06/0010/1010) to JAGS. NS was the recipient of a FPU fellowship (AP2009-3682).

Compliance with ethical standards

Conflict of interest

Author Silvia Santamaria declares that she has no conflict of interest. Author Nerea Sanchez declares that she has no conflict of interest. Author Mariano Sanz declares that he has no conflict of interest. Author Jose A. Garcia-Sanz declares that he has no conflict of interest. All the authors declare that they had full control of all primary data and agree to allow the Journal to review it if requested.


The work carried out in the author’s laboratories received financing from the Spanish Ministry of Health (EC10-095) and the Osteology Foundation (#10-063) to MS, and Instituto de Salud Carlos III (RD06/0010/1010) to JAGS. NS was the recipient of a FPU fellowship (AP2009-3682).

Ethical approval

All human studies have been approved by the Universidad Complutense de Madrid ethics committee for Clinical Research and have been performed in accordance with the ethical standards laid down in the 1964 Declaration of Helsinki and its latter amendments. The Universidad Complutense de Madrid bioethics committee approved the experimental protocols involving animals. The experiments involving animals have been carried following the appropriate EU and Spanish national laws.

Informed consent

All persons gave their informed consent prior to their inclusion in the study by signing an IRB-approved informed consent.


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Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag Berlin Heidelberg 2016

Authors and Affiliations

  • Silvia Santamaría
    • 1
    • 2
  • Nerea Sanchez
    • 2
  • Mariano Sanz
    • 2
  • Jose A. Garcia-Sanz
    • 1
  1. 1.Centro de Investigaciones Biologicas (CIB-CSIC)MadridSpain
  2. 2.ETEP Research Group, Faculty of OdontologyUniversidad Complutense de Madrid (UCM)MadridSpain

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