Cellular and Molecular Neurobiology

, Volume 33, Issue 8, pp 1023–1031 | Cite as

Age-Dependent Impaired Neurogenic Differentiation Capacity of Dental Stem Cell is Associated with Wnt/β-Catenin Signaling

  • Xingmei Feng
  • Jing Xing
  • Guijuan Feng
  • Aimin Sang
  • Biyu Shen
  • Yue Xu
  • Jinxia Jiang
  • Suzhe Liu
  • Wei Tan
  • Zhifeng Gu
  • Liren Li
Original Research

Abstract

Two kinds of dental stem cells (DSCs), dental pulp stem cells (DPSCs) and stem cells from human-exfoliated deciduous teeth (SHED), have been identified as novel populations of mesenchymal stem cells that can be induced to differentiate into osteoblasts, chondrocytes, adipocytes, and neuron-like cells in vitro. As we know, both of them originate from the neural crest, but have distinct characteristics and functions in vitro and in vivo. The regeneration potential of DSCs declines with advanced age; however, the mechanism of the impaired potential in DSCs has not been fully explored. In this study, we investigated whether declined neurogenic differentiation capacity is associated with an altered expression of Wnt signaling-related proteins in vitro. We compared stem cells isolated from human dental pulp in two age groups: the exfoliated deciduous teeth (5–12 years), and the third permanent teeth (45–50 years). We found that the expression levels of neuron markers, such as βIII-tubulin, microtubule-associated protein 2(MAP2), tyrosine hydroxylase (TH), and Nestin were lower in the DPSCs group compared with that in the SHED group; however, in supplementation with human recombinant Wnt1 in the medium, the DPSCs were prone to neural differentiation and expressed higher levels of neurogenic markers. In summary, our study demonstrated that Wnt/β-catenin signaling may play a vital role in the age-dependent neural differentiation of DSCs. Therefore, DSCs may provide an ideal source of stem cells that can further extend their therapeutic application in nerve injury and neurodegenerative diseases.

Keywords

Age-dependent Dental pulp stem cells Neurogenic differentiation Wnt/β-Catenin signaling 

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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media New York 2013

Authors and Affiliations

  • Xingmei Feng
    • 1
  • Jing Xing
    • 1
  • Guijuan Feng
    • 1
  • Aimin Sang
    • 2
  • Biyu Shen
    • 3
  • Yue Xu
    • 2
  • Jinxia Jiang
    • 3
  • Suzhe Liu
    • 4
  • Wei Tan
    • 3
  • Zhifeng Gu
    • 3
  • Liren Li
    • 4
  1. 1.Department of StomatologyAffiliated Hospital of Nantong UniversityNantongPeople’s Republic of China
  2. 2.Department of OphthalmologyAffiliated Hospital of Nantong UniversityNantongPeople’s Republic of China
  3. 3.Department of RheumatologyAffiliated Hospital of Nantong UniversityNantongPeople’s Republic of China
  4. 4.Department of Division of Gastroenterology and HepatologyAffiliated Hospital of Nantong UniversityNantongPeople’s Republic of China

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