Angiogenesis, the formation of capillaries from pre-existing blood vessels, is a key process in tissue engineering. If blood supply cannot be established rapidly, there is insufficient oxygen and nutrient transport and necrosis of the implanted tissue will occur. Recent studies indicate that the human dental pulp contains precursor cells, named dental pulp stem cells (hDPSC) that show self-renewal and multilineage differentiation capacity. Since these cells can be easily isolated, cultured and cryopreserved, they represent an attractive stem cell source for tissue engineering. Until now, only little is known about the angiogenic abilities and mechanisms of the hDPSC. In this study, the angiogenic profile of both cell lysates and conditioned medium of hDPSC was determined by means of an antibody array. Numerous pro-and anti-angiogenic factors such as vascular endothelial growth factor (VEGF), monocyte chemotactic protein-1 (MCP-1), plasminogen activator inhibitor-1 (PAI-1) and endostatin were found both at the mRNA and protein level. hDPSC had no influence on the proliferation of the human microvascular endothelial cells (HMEC-1), but were able to significantly induce HMEC-1 migration in vitro. Addition of the PI3K-inhibitor LY294002 and the MEK-inhibitor U0126 to the HMEC-1 inhibited this effect, suggesting that both Akt and ERK pathways are involved in hDPSC-mediated HMEC-1 migration. Antibodies against VEGF also abolished the chemotactic actions of hDPSC. Furthermore, in the chicken chorioallantoic membrane (CAM) assay, hDPSC were able to significantly induce blood vessel formation. In conclusion, hDPSC have the ability to induce angiogenesis, meaning that this stem cell population has a great clinical potential, not only for tissue engineering but also for the treatment of chronic wounds, stroke and myocardial infarctions. © 2013 Bronckaers et al.
Bronckaers, A., Hilkens, P., Fanton, Y., Struys, T., Gervois, P., Politis, C., … Lambrichts, I. (2013). Angiogenic Properties of Human Dental Pulp Stem Cells. PLoS ONE, 8(8). https://doi.org/10.1371/journal.pone.0071104