A smart use for wisdom teeth: Making stem cells

Contact: Nick Zagorski
American Society for Biochemistry and Molecular Biology

Appearing in the Sept. 17 JBC


MSCs taken from wisdom teeth and
reprogrammed into can become numerous other cell types, like
these beating cardiomyocytes.

Click here for more information.

For most people, wisdom teeth are not much more than an annoyance
that eventually needs to be removed. However, a new study appearing in
the September 17 Journal of Biological Chemistry shows that
wisdom teeth contain a valuable reservoir of tissue for the creation of
stem cells; thus, everyone might be carrying around his or her own
personal stem-cell repository should he or she ever need some.

Groundbreaking research back in 2006 revealed that inducing the
activity of four genes in adult cells could "reprogram" them back into a
stem-cell-like state; biologically, these induced-pluripotent stem
cells are virtually identical to embryonic stem cells, opening up a new
potential avenue for stem- whereby patients could be treated
with their own stem cells.

However, despite their promise, making iPS cells is not easy; the
reprogramming efficiencies are very low and vary among the cells that
can be used for iPS generation and thus require good amount of "starter"
cells – which might involve difficult extraction from body tissue
(unfortunately skin cells, the easiest to acquire, show very low
reprogramming efficiency).

Now, a team of scientists at ’s National Institute of Advanced
Industrial Science and Technology may have found an ideal source: third
molars, commonly known as wisdom teeth.

The soft pulp inside of teeth contains a population of cells known
as mesenchymal stromal cells that are similar to cells found in bone
marrow, a common stem-cell source. However, unlike bone marrow, tooth
pulp is more easily obtained, especially in wisdom teeth, which most
individuals have removed anyway.

The researchers, led by Hajime Ohgushi, collected tooth samples from
three donors and managed to generate a series of iPS cell lines
following the similar procedure of activating three key genes (however,
in another beneficial change they did not have activate the c-MYC gene
which might lead the cells to become cancerous).

The different cell lines displayed varying degrees of robustness but
in some cases proliferated quite well, up to 100 times more efficiently
than typical skin-cell-derived iPS cells. The molar-derived cells also
could differentiate into many other cell types including beating
cardiomyocytes (see an attached movie), as expected.

The presence of a supply of MSCs in wisdom teeth could have
meaningful therapeutic ramifications. As noted by the researchers and
others, wisdom tooth extraction is a common medical procedure in
developed nations and, thus, creates a perfect opportunity to remove
biological material in a sterilized setting; the teeth subsequently can
be frozen and stored for many years until needed. In the meantime, that
also provides time for researchers to better understand the details of
iPS creation to further increase the efficiency for clinical use.


From the JBC article: "Induction of Pluripotent Stem Cells from
Human Third Molar Mesenchymal Stromal Cells" by Yasuaki Oda, Yasuhide
Yoshimura, Hiroe Ohnishi, Mika Tadokoro, Yoshihiro Katsube, Mari Sasao,
Yoko Kubo, Koji Hattori, Shigeru Saito,
Katsuhisa Horimoto, Shunsuke Yuba and Hajime Ohgushi

Article Link: http://www.jbc.org/content/285/38/29270

Corresponding Author: Hajime Ohgushi, Health Research Institute,
National Institute of Advanced Industrial Science and Technology,
Amagasaki City, Japan

TEL:81-6-6494-7806, E-mail: hajime-ohgushi@aist.go.jp

The American Society for Biochemistry and Molecular Biology is a
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members in the and internationally. Most members teach and
conduct research at colleges and universities. Others conduct research
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The Society’s purpose is to advance the science of biochemistry and
molecular biology through publication of the Journal of Biological Chemistry, the Journal of Lipid Research, and Molecular and Cellular Proteomics,
organization of scientific meetings, advocacy for funding of basic
research and education, support of science education at all levels, and
promoting the diversity of individuals entering the scientific work

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1 Comment

  1. need new teeth. ASAP. Please do it !!! Please release this technology into dental field.

    Amen !!!

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