Groundbreaking research uses stem cells to relieve mouth, face pain

Research from Boston University Henry M. Goldman School of Dental Medicine shows for the first time that a particular type of stem cell, bone marrow derived mesenchymal stem cells (BMMSCs), can suppress orofacial pain rapidly--within one day of treatment--by either IV injection of cells or direct injection of cells to the injured site.

In rat models, the pain never came back after stem cell injection. But in the untreated group, the pain lasted up to 22 weeks, or the length of the experimental period.

Researchers simulated two types of pain: myogenic pain (by ligating, or tying up, the masticatory muscle tendon) and neuropathic pain (by tying up the nerve on the face). successfully reduced pain in both cases.

The next step is a clinical trial to treat recalcitrant orofacial pain.

Researchers also found that this suppression is in part mediated through the endogenous opioid system operated centrally (in the brain) and peripherally (at the injured site). Further mechanisms to explain how this works are now under investigation.

Associate Professor of Endodontics Dr. George Huang worked on the study with Dr. Ke Ren, professor at the University of Maryland School of Dentistry.

The Boston University Henry M. Goldman School of Dental Medicine will be the premier academic dental institution promoting excellence in dental education, research, oral health care, and community service to improve the overall health of the .

We will provide outstanding service to a diverse group of students, patients, faculty, staff, alumni, and healthcare professionals within our facilities, our community, and the world.

We will shape the future of the profession through scholarship, creating and disseminating new knowledge, developing and using and educational methodologies, and by promoting critical thinking and lifelong learning.

We will do so in an ethical, supportive environment, consistent with our core values of respect, truth, responsibility, fairness, compassion; and our operational values of excellence, service and effective communication in synergy with the strategic plan of Boston University.

We will support this mission using responsible financial policies and philanthropy.

add to favorites email to friend print save as pdf

Related Stories

Broke a tooth? Grow another!

Jan 13, 2010

(PhysOrg.com) -- To all those who have made deals with the tooth fairy in the past: you probably sold your teeth below their fair value.

Scientists uncover mechanism for dental pain

Jan 08, 2009

Researchers at Oregon Health & Science University's School of Dentistry have discovered a novel function of the peptide known as Nerve Growth Factor (NGF) in the development of the trigeminal nerve. The trigeminal nerve provides ...

Preventing Prostate Cancer to Bone Metastasis

Jul 13, 2009

(PhysOrg.com) -- In new research on prostate cancer to bone metastasis, Dr. Phillip Trackman of Boston University Henry M. Goldman School of Dental Medicine explains that the lysyl oxidase pro-peptide (LOX-PP) inhibits prostate ...

Recommended for you

Scientists discover gene controlling muscle fate

8 hours ago

Scientists at the University of New Mexico have moved a step closer to improving medical science through research involving muscle manipulation of fruit flies. They discovered in the flight muscles of Drosophila ...

Study clues to aging bone loss

8 hours ago

In Canada, bone fractures due to osteoporosis affect one in three women and one in five men over their lifetimes, costing the health care system more than $2.3 billion a year.

User comments