A new source of cells for corneal regeneration
Stem cells from teeth were reprogrammed into the cornea of the eye
A group of researchers from the University of Pittsburgh School of Medical Sciences (University of Pittsburgh Schools of the Health Sciences) has shown that the stem cells of the pulp of the third molars – wisdom teeth – can be converted into corneal stromal cells – keratocytes. Perhaps this will turn out to be a new successful technique for restoring scars due to infection or injury, Science Daily reports (Wisdom teeth stem cells can transform into cells that could treat corneal scarring).
Keratocytes were injected into the cornea of healthy mice, where the cells integrated without signs of rejection. In addition, the scientists worked on a model of the corneal stroma similar to natural tissue.
It is assumed that pulp cells can become a tool for the treatment of blindness: a corneal transplant can be made from the patient's own cells.
"Other studies have shown that pulp stem cells can be used for reprogramming into nerve, bone and some others," comments Fatima Syed–Picard from the Department of Ophthalmology of Pittsburgh (Pitt's Department of Ophthalmology), a participant in the project. "They have great potential for regenerative medicine."
In the near future, scientists plan to evaluate whether the method can correct corneal scars on an animal model.
Article by Syed-Picard et al. Dental Pulp Stem Cells: A New Cellular Resource for Corneal Stromal Regeneration is published in the journal Stem Cells Translational Medicine – VM.
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