Clinical Oral Investigations

, Volume 23, Issue 1, pp 199–207 | Cite as

Hypoxia upregulates the expression of the pluripotency markers in the stem cells from human deciduous teeth

  • Stefanie Bressan WerleEmail author
  • Pedro Chagastelles
  • Patricia Pranke
  • Luciano Casagrande
Original Article



Cultivation under hypoxia promotes different responses in the mesenchymal stem cells and it has been producing promising results for clinical applications. Pulp tissue from deciduous teeth is a source of stem cells which has a high proliferative potential but this is usually discarded. This study has evaluated the effects of hypoxia on proliferation, apoptosis, and the expression of the pluripotency-related genes of the stem cells from human exfoliated deciduous teeth (SHED).

Materials and methods

The cells were isolated from dental pulp (n = 5) and characterized as mesenchymal stem cells, in accordance with the International Society for Cell Therapy. The cells were cultivated under hypoxia (3% oxygen) and compared to the normoxia cells (21% oxygen). The proliferation rate was evaluated by the Ki67 antibody for up to 7 days, while the metabolic activity was measured by the wst-8 assay for up to 14 days. The apoptotic cells were analyzed by Annexin V and propidium iodide staining at 24 h and 4 and 7 days. The expression of the pluripotent genes (OCT4, SOX2, and NANOG) was quantified by qPCR after 24 h, or 7 days, when cultivated under hypoxia or normoxia.


No differences in the metabolic activity, the proliferation rate, and the apoptosis of SHED when cultivated under hypoxia or normoxia (p > 0.05) were observed. The expression of the pluripotent genes was significantly higher after 24 h and 7 days of the cells that were exposed to hypoxia (p < 0.01).


These findings have indicated an increase of the pluripotency-related genes within 7 days as being the main advantage of SHED culture under hypoxia.

Clinical relevance

Hypoxia culture may help maintain the quiescent state of the SHED, which could be advantageous for their future clinical applications.


Dental pulp Deciduous teeth Stem cells Hypoxia 



This work was supported by the Stem Cell Research Institute, Brazil.

Compliance with ethical standards

Conflict of interest

The authors declare that they have no conflict of interest.

Ethical approval

This research was conducted in accordance with the ethical standards of the Resolution of the National Council on Ethics in Research (n. 466/2012) and with the 1964 Helsinki declaration and its later amendments, or comparable ethical standards. The Research Committee of the Universidade Federal do Rio Grande do Sul, Brazil (n. 27111314.3.0000.5347) approved the protocol of this study. Deciduous teeth (molars and canines) with at least one third of a physiological root resorption and which had been programed for extraction were selected from five donors, aged 8 to 12 years old. The tooth extraction was conducted at the Children and Youth Dental Clinic, School of Dentistry, Federal University of Rio Grande do Sul (UFRGS), Porto Alegre, Brazil. For the tooth collection, written informed consent was signed by the parents or guardians of the donors.

Informed consent

Informed consent was obtained from all of the individual participants that were included in the study.


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Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag GmbH Germany, part of Springer Nature 2018

Authors and Affiliations

  • Stefanie Bressan Werle
    • 1
    Email author
  • Pedro Chagastelles
    • 2
    • 3
  • Patricia Pranke
    • 3
    • 4
    • 5
  • Luciano Casagrande
    • 1
  1. 1.School of Dentistry, Pediatric DentistryUniversidade Federal do Rio Grande do Sul (UFRGS)Porto AlegreBrazil
  2. 2.School of PharmacyUniversidade Federal do Rio Grande do SulPorto AlegreBrazil
  3. 3.Faculty of PharmacyUniversidade Federal do Rio Grande do Sul (UFRGS)Porto AlegreBrazil
  4. 4.Hematology and Stem Cell Laboratory, Faculty of PharmacyUniversidade Federal do Rio Grande do SulPorto AlegreBrazil
  5. 5.Stem Cell Research InstitutePorto AlegreBrazil

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