Odontogenic epithelial stem cells: Hidden sources

Sivan Padma Priya, Akon Higuchi, Salem Abu Fanas, Mok Pooi Ling, Vasantha Kumari Neela, P. M. Sunil, T. R. Saraswathi, Kadarkarai Murugan, Abdullah A. Alarfaj, Murugan A. Munusamy, Suresh Kumar

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review

17 Scopus citations


The ultimate goal of dental stem cell research is to construct a bioengineered tooth. Tooth formation occurs based on the well-organized reciprocal interaction of epithelial and mesenchymal cells. The dental mesenchymal stem cells are the best explored, but because the human odontogenic epithelium is lost after the completion of enamel formation, studies on these cells are scarce. The successful creation of a bioengineered tooth is achievable only when the odontogenic epithelium is reconstructed to produce a replica of natural enamel. This article discusses the untapped sources of odontogenic epithelial stem cells in humans, such as those present in the active dental lamina in postnatal life, in remnants of dental lamina (the gubernaculum cord), in the epithelial cell rests of Malassez, and in reduced enamel epithelium. The possible uses of these stem cells in regenerative medicine, not just for enamel formation, are discussed.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1344-1352
Number of pages9
JournalLaboratory Investigation
Issue number12
StatePublished - 1 Dec 2015


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