The complex microenvironment of the periodontal wound creates many challenges associated with multi-tissue regeneration of periodontal lesions. Mesenchymal stem cells (MSCs) are multipotent, progenitor cells with the ability to differentiate into specialised cell types in vitro and in vivo. Characterisation of MSC-like cells residing in periodontal ligament tissues (PDLSC) has shown that these cells exhibit features of postnatal stem cells, giving rise to a range of dental and non-dental associated cells, including cementoblast- and osteoblast-like cells, adipocytes and collagen-forming cells. Despite these advances, lack of consistency in design of preclinical studies testing the clinical utility of these cells has hampered the extent of understanding of the underlying factors and processes essential for therapeutic use of PDLSCs to treat periodontal disease.
The aim of this project was to assess the potential of allogeneic PDLSC tranaplantation in the formation of periodontal ligament, cementum and alveolar bone in a rat periodontal fenestration defect model.
The present investigation shows that allogeneic PDLSCs delivered via gelatin sponges have a marked ability to repair periodontal defects by forming bone, periodontal ligament and cementum-like tissue in vivo.