Immune System/Stem Cells Tooth Repair

Restoration and Implantology
  • Smaller Small Medium Big Bigger
  • Default Helvetica Segoe Georgia Times

King’s College London research reveals immune system/stem cell tooth repair

Cavities, also called tooth decay or caries, permanently damage the hard, mineral surface of teeth. Once decay reaches the inner soft tissue of the tooth, the pulp, the tooth becomes infected and further issues arise. Stem cells are present in the pulp and are stimulated by damage to differentiate into specialised cells (odontoblasts) that act to replace lost mineral and repair the tooth.

Building on previous research into tooth repair, in a paper published today in Scientific Reports, researchers from King’s College London have revealed how macrophages – specialised cells of the immune system – and stem cells interact following tooth damage to promote repair.

The research was carried out in the Centre for Craniofacial & Regenerative Biology at the Faculty of Dentistry, Oral & Craniofacial Sciences, by researchers, Dr Vitor Neves and Dr Val Yianni, both senior members of the Sharpe Research Group. They found that macrophages are required for pulp stem cell activation and appropriate reparative dentine formation.

The group showed that by naturally stimulating tooth repair via Wnt/β -catenin signalling stimulation, dentine formation is enhanced due to activation of pulp stem cells and promotion of an anti-inflammatory macrophage response.

A spokesperson said: “These findings demonstrate that by understanding how the body reacts to damage, it is possible to modulate the host response to improve the dental reparative capacity, potentially increasing the life span of teeth.”

Find out more and read the full paper online here: 

Macrophage modulation of dental pulp stem cell activity during tertiary dentinogenesis by Neves, Yianni and Sharpe was published in Scientific Reports on Thursday 19 November 2020.

Image caption: Pulp stem cells interaction with macrophages. In green - pulp stem cells; in red - macrophages; in blue - cell nuclei