Stem cells grow fully functional new teeth

by Deborah Braconnier report
Oral photographs (upper) and micro-CT (lower) images showing occlusion of natural (left) and bioengineered teeth (right). Image credit: PLoS ONE 6(7): e21531. doi:10.1371/journal.pone.0021531

(Medical Xpress) -- Researchers from Japan recently published a paper in PLoS One describing their successful growth and transplantation of new teeth created from the stem cells of mice.

In order to create these teeth, Takashi Tsuji from Tokyo University of Science and his team removed two different stem cells from the molar teeth of mice. They took these stem cells to grow in the laboratory. In order to control how the teeth grew, as far as shape and length, the stem cells were placed in a mold to grow.

Once the cells grew into full tooth units, the researchers then transplanted them into the of one-month-old mice. These transplanted teeth fused with the and tissues on an average of about 40 days. The researchers were also able to detect growing in the new teeth.

The mice that received the transplanted teeth were able to eat and chew normally without any complications.

Tsuji hopes that this new development will help further the research being done to allow for the growth of human organs from a patient’s own stem cells. Currently researchers do not have the ability to culture three-dimensional organs outside of the body. The hope is the growth of these teeth will be the beginning step that is needed.

Tsuji stresses that in order for reparative therapy to be successful, it is important to find the right seed cells. Because the stem cells used for these teeth were taken directly from the molars of the , they were able to grow into teeth, complete with enamel and dental bones.

Researchers believe that down the road it may be possible to do this with adult or cells found in human wisdom teeth and allow for actual teeth to be implanted replacing teeth lost to dental decay or injury.

More information: Oshima M, Mizuno M, Imamura A, Ogawa M, Yasukawa M, et al. (2011) Functional Tooth Regeneration Using a Bioengineered Tooth Unit as a Mature Organ Replacement Regenerative Therapy. PLoS ONE 6(7): e21531. doi:10.1371/journal.pone.0021531

Abstract
Donor organ transplantation is currently an essential therapeutic approach to the replacement of a dysfunctional organ as a result of disease, injury or aging in vivo. Recent progress in the area of regenerative therapy has the potential to lead to bioengineered mature organ replacement in the future. In this proof of concept study, we here report a further development in this regard in which a bioengineered tooth unit comprising mature tooth, periodontal ligament and alveolar bone, was successfully transplanted into a properly-sized bony hole in the alveolar bone through bone integration by recipient bone remodeling in a murine transplantation model system. The bioengineered tooth unit restored enough the alveolar bone in a vertical direction into an extensive bone defect of murine lower jaw. Engrafted bioengineered tooth displayed physiological tooth functions such as mastication, periodontal ligament function for bone remodeling and responsiveness to noxious stimulations. This study thus represents a substantial advance and demonstrates the real potential for bioengineered mature organ replacement as a next generation regenerative therapy.

Press release

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that_guy
not rated yet Jul 13, 2011
I Think this is great work, but limited in it's direct benefit. Basically, for the vast majority of us, who would want to spend 10 times more on dental work, when a crown is more than good enough, and doesn't get cavities (I have several crowns).

This will primarily benefit those who are missing teeth altogether (If they have the money), and more importantly, it will help spur the research into regrowing other parts of the body.
FrankHerbert
1.7 / 5 (6) Jul 13, 2011
What ever happened to the bio-engineered bacteria that would eat up all the bad bacteria in your mouth but leave your teeth alone? That's what I want! Great work though.
ccr5Delta32
3 / 5 (2) Jul 13, 2011


This will primarily benefit those who are missing teeth altogether (If they have the money), and more importantly, it will help spur the research into regrowing other parts of the body.

And there's the rub .I would imagine that most of those that have missing teeth lack the finances for extensive dental treatment
The older people may not have the regenerative abilities of a one month old mouse.Something for Europe perhaps
that_guy
5 / 5 (1) Jul 13, 2011
The older people may not have the regenerative abilities of a one month old mouse.Something for Europe perhaps

snap! I just realized how ethnocentric my comment was. Good point - in most developed countries, there will likely be the means and methods to put this to use, albeit still for only a small proportion of the population.
Vendicar_Decarian
Jul 13, 2011
This comment has been removed by a moderator.
Sinister1811
1 / 5 (2) Jul 14, 2011
The older people may not have the regenerative abilities of a one month old mouse.Something for Europe perhaps


It's the stem cells that have the regenerative abilities. Age isn't necessarily a factor.

While this is [somewhat] exciting, I'd still like to see them focus more on using stem cells to cure diseases that are currently "incurable".
RobertKarlStonjek
not rated yet Jul 14, 2011
I don't think I'll be lining up to get a mouthful of mice teeth anytime soon...

But seriously, the problem with this therapy and with the titanium implants now available is the loss of bone where the teeth have been lost. You can clearly see the loss of bone in the mouse jaw above, so those people who don't get this treatment almost as soon as the wound (from tooth loss) heals can not get it done at all.
icebreaker
not rated yet Jul 15, 2011
this would not work since our teeth come from 3 different types of stem cells one disappear permanently after eruption (enamoblasts).this tooth will be made out of dentin. ankylosis will happen so you are looking at a baby tooth that will last 5 yrs max.
now the fun part if you get this tooth in your mouth it will wear off within month (missing enamel)so you will have to cap it , it will be super sensitive you might end up with a root canal, decay will love you for the free food.
frustrated you decide to pull it half of your jaw will come out with it.
I think this article had miss translate the research findings.I can taste the extra pepper .
TheGhostofOtto1923
1.8 / 5 (5) Jul 15, 2011
And there's the rub .I would imagine that most of those that have missing teeth lack the finances for extensive dental treatment
Obamacare should pay for this. I think all kinds of regenerative treatments should make health care a LOT cheaper. It has got to be easier to cause the body to fix itself than surgery, transplants, antirejection drugs, side effects, etc. once the procedures are perfected.
this would not work since our teeth come from 3 different types of stem cells one disappear permanently after eruption (enamoblasts)
All sorts of animals regenerate teeth. It seems to be a recurring trait like sabertooth in cats. I bet it sits dormant in our genome somewhere waiting to be switched on.

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