A recent article in October issue of Cell Transplantation presented evidence suggesting that dental stem cells could be useful for treating complications due to diabetes.
Scientists induced diabetes in mice and injected them with dental stem cells from a mouse.
They found renewal of pancreatic beta cells, less kidney damage, and long lasting effect improving neuropathic pain.
If these results translated to humans, it would mean that dental stem cells could help control intractable pain caused by diabetic neuropathy.
Other scientists showed that dental pulp may be useful to regenerate islets that secrete insulin which could mean from extracted teeth one could engineer their own replacement islets for islet therapy. A third group of scientists has shown that dental stem cells may modulate the immune system in ways that could be important for those with type 1 diabetes.
Although early, taken altogether, this work suggests that prior to onset of diabetes, during onset of diabetes, and years after onset of diabetes there may be multiple uses of stem cells that can be easily collected from teeth that dentists routinely extract and typically discard.
Transplantation of Stem Cells Obtained from Murine Dental Pulp Improves Pancreatic Damage, Renal Function and Painful Diabetic Neuropathy in Diabetic Type 1 Mouse Model.
Link: The Article on PubMed
Diabetes Mellitus (DM) is one of the most common and serious chronic diseases in the world. Here we investigated the effects of mouse dental pulp stem cells (mDPSC) transplantation in a streptozotocin (STZ)-induced diabetes type 1 model. C57BL/6 mice were treated intraperitoneally with 80 mg/kg of STZ and transplanted with 1 x 10(6) mDPSC or injected with saline, by endovenous route, after diabetes onset.
Blood and urine glucose levels were reduced in hyperglycemic mice treated with mDPSC when compared to saline-treated controls. This correlated with an increase in pancreatic islets and insulin production 30 days after mDPSC therapy. Moreover, urea and proteinuria levels normalized after mDPSC transplantation in diabetic mice, indicating an improvement of renal function.
This was confirmed by histopathological analysis of kidney sections. We observed the loss of the epithelial brush border and proximal tubule dilatation only in saline-treated diabetic mice, which is indicative of acute renal lesion. STZ-induced thermal hyperalgesia was also reduced after cell therapy. Three days after transplantation, mDPSC-treated diabetic mice exhibited nociceptive thresholds similar to that of non-diabetic mice, an effect maintained throughout the 90-day evaluation period.
Immunofluorescence analyses of the pancreas revealed the presence of GFP(+) cells in or surrounding pancreatic islets. Our results demonstrate that mDPSC may contribute to pancreatic β-cell renewal, prevents renal damage in diabetic animals, and produces a powerful and long-lasting antinociceptive effect on behavioral neuropathic pain. Our results suggest stem cell therapy as an option for the control of diabetes complications such as intractable diabetic neuropathic pain.
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