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Arquivos Brasileiros de Oftalmologia

Print version ISSN 0004-2749On-line version ISSN 1678-2925

Arq. Bras. Oftalmol. vol.82 no.3 São Paulo May/June 2019  Epub May 16, 2019 


Myriad applications of dental pulp stem cells

Inúmeras aplicações de células-tronco da polpa dentária

Nareshwaran Gnanasegaran1 

1Institute of Molecular and Cell Biology (IMCB), Agency for Science Technology and Research (A*STAR), Proteos, Singapore.

Dear Editor,

I read the article “Amniotic membrane as a biological scaffold for dental pulp stem cell transplantation in ocular surface reconstruction” by Monteiro et al. with great interest(1). The potential applications of dental pulp stem cells (DPSCs) are limitless-especially regarding corneal regeneration. The study demonstrated that, in the presence of amniotic membrane (AM), the tendency of DPSCs to differentiate is reduced, creating a potential source for eye-related cell therapies. The ease of access and fewer ethical hurdles for using DPSCs has made them very popular in the field of regenerative medicine. Previously, we demonstrated the differentiation potential of DPSCs toward neuron-like cells-especially dopaminergic-like cells(2) and hepatocyte-like cells(3) as well as their immunomodulatory behaviors and para crine effects(4). It is indeed interesting to see the myriad of application avenues for this cell type despite their origin from such a small amount of tissue. As an advocate of DPSCs, I hope to see them applied for cell therapy one fine day.

I agree with the author’s point of view that the use of autologous stem cells relieves us from graft rejection; however, in some circumstances, there is no option but to incorporate allogeneic stem cells with immunosuppressive drugs. Although AM seems to be efficient for promoting the growth of DPSCs, there is a risk of HIV, hepatitis, and other viral infections if the cells are not selected carefully. By targeting genes which are responsible in eliciting immune reactions via gene-editing technology(5), I hope that it will be possible to address this issue and put DPSCs into practice.

To conclude, studies exploring the full potential of DPSCs should be supported by the global community of scientists. By working together, we will be able to translate our findings from bench to bedside.

Funding: No specific financial support was available for this study.


1 Monteiro BG, Loureiro RR, Cristovam PC, Covre JL, Gomes JA, Kerkis I. Amniotic membrane as a biological scaffold for dental pulp stem cell transplantation in ocular surface reconstruction. Arq Bras Oftalmol. 2019;82(1):32-7. [ Links ]

2 Gnanasegaran N, Govindasamy V, Kathirvaloo P, Musa S, Abu Kasim NH. Effects of cell cycle phases on the induction of dental pulp stem cells toward dopaminergic-like cells. J Tissue Eng Regen Med. 2018;12(2):e881-93. [ Links ]

3 Vasanthan P, Gnanasegaran N, Govindasamy V, Abdullah AN, Jayaraman P, Ronald VS, et al. Comparison of fetal bovine serum and human platelet lysate in cultivation and differentiation of dental pulp stem cells into hepatic lineage cells. Biochem Eng J. 2014;15(88):142-53. [ Links ]

4 Bindal P, Ramasamy TS, Kasim NH, Gnanasegaran N, Chai WL. Immune responses of human dental pulp stem cells in lipopo lysaccharide-induced microenvironment. Cell Biol Int. 2018;42(7): 832-40. [ Links ]

5 Patmanathan SN, Gnanasegaran N, Lim MN, Husaini R, Fakiruddin KS, Zakaria Z. CRISPR/Cas9 in stem cell research: current application and future perspective. Curr Stem Cell Res Ther. 2018;13(8): 632-44. [ Links ]

Received: January 27, 2019; Accepted: January 29, 2019

Corresponding author: Nareshwaran Gnanasegaran. Institute of Molecular and Cell Biology (IMCB), Agency for Science Technology and Research (A*STAR) 61 Biopolis Drive, Proteos, Singapore. E-mail:

Disclosure of potential conflicts of interest: The author has no potential conflict of interest to disclose.

Creative Commons License This is an Open Access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited