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Evaluation of dental pulp stem cell heterogeneity and behaviour in 3D type I collagen gels

Alraies, Amr ORCID:, Waddington, Rachel J. ORCID:, Sloan, Alastair J. ORCID: and Moseley, Ryan ORCID: 2020. Evaluation of dental pulp stem cell heterogeneity and behaviour in 3D type I collagen gels. BioMed Research International 10.1155/2020/3034727

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Dental pulp stem cells (DPSCs) are increasingly being advocated for regenerative medicine-based therapies. However, significant heterogeneity in the genotypic/phenotypic properties of DPSC subpopulations exists, influencing their therapeutic potentials. As most studies have established DPSC heterogeneity using 2D culture approaches, we investigated whether heterogeneous DPSC proliferative and contraction/remodelling capabilities were further evident within 3D type I collagen gels in vitro. DPSC subpopulations were isolated from human third molars and identified as high/low proliferative and multipotent/unipotent, following in vitro culture expansion and population doubling (PD) analysis. High proliferative/multipotent DPSCs, such as A3 (30 PDs and 80 PDs), and low proliferative/unipotent DPSCs, such as A1 (17 PDs), were cultured in collagen gels for 12 days, either attached or detached from the surrounding culture plastic. Collagen architecture and high proliferative/multipotent DPSC morphologies were visualised by Scanning Electron Microscopy and FITC-phalloidin/Fluorescence Microscopy. DPSC proliferation (cell counts), contraction (% diameter reductions), and remodelling (MMP-2/MMP-9 gelatin zymography) of collagen gels were also evaluated. Unexpectedly, no proliferation differences existed between DPSCs, A3 (30 PDs) and A1 (17 PDs), although A3 (80 PDs) responses were significantly reduced. Despite rapid detached collagen gel contraction with A3 (30 PDs), similar contraction rates were determined with A1 (17 PDs), although A3 (80 PDs) contraction was significantly impaired. Gel contraction correlated to distinct gelatinase profiles. A3 (30 PDs) possessed superior MMP-9 and comparable MMP-2 activities to A1 (17 PDs), whereas A3 (80 PDs) had significantly reduced MMP-2/MMP-9. High proliferative/multipotent DPSCs, A3 (30 PDs), further exhibited fibroblast-like morphologies becoming polygonal within attached gels, whilst losing cytoskeletal organization and fibroblastic morphologies in detached gels. This study demonstrates that heterogeneity exists in the gel contraction and MMP expression/activity capabilities of DPSCs, potentially reflecting differences in their abilities to degrade biomaterial scaffolds and regulate cellular functions in 3D environments and their regenerative properties overall. Thus, such findings enhance our understanding of the molecular and phenotypic characteristics associated with high proliferative/multipotent DPSCs.

Item Type: Article
Date Type: Published Online
Status: Published
Schools: Dentistry
Publisher: Hindawi Publishing Corporation
ISSN: 2314-6133
Date of First Compliant Deposit: 14 September 2020
Date of Acceptance: 3 September 2020
Last Modified: 06 May 2023 08:23

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