The benefits of storing stem cells from teeth as well as at birth

Why parents choose to bank both types of stem cells
You may already understand that at birth there are two main types of stem cells available; Hematopoietic stem cells (HSCs) isolated from cord blood, and Mesenchymal stem cells (MSCs) isolated from umbilical cord tissue. HSCs are routinely used in treatments for conditions such as leukaemia and other immune conditions, whereas MSCs are widely anticipated to become the future of regenerative health care.

Given their ability to change in to many other types of cells found in our bodies, MSCs are being explored in clinical trials today for conditions such as diabetes, multiple sclerosis, stroke recovery and many more.

Increasingly, parents choose to bank cells both at birth and from milk teeth after the child turns 5 years of age, for many different reasons. Read on to find out more:

More samples banked, means more potential treatments are available

As standard, we isolate and store four pieces of the umbilical cord tissue for parents who have chosen to bank cord tissue at birth. Typically, we may release one portion of cells for a single treatment, as the cells can be expanded to reach the required number of cells for therapy.

By also banking stem cells from teeth, a parent will typically have a further 5-6 samples available.
Increasing the total number of samples in storage increases the possible treatments available to your child and other family members in the future.

Increased protection for the family

Having stem cells banked for your child not only protects their future, but could also help other family members. Parents of donors are commonly a 50% match; siblings have a 25% ‘perfect match potential’ as well as numerous partial match scenarios.

Having maximum cells available, by collecting stem cells from all sources including teeth, means more benefit to both the donor and immediate family.

A second chance to store stem cells

Today the process of isolating cells from tissue at birth is well established. Future Health use advanced pioneering technology to isolate stem cells from the cord tissue for thousands of families every year. Though 95% of samples we process are successfully stored, sometimes a cord tissue sample can’t be stored due to factors outside our control. Most commonly however, the opportunity to bank cord tissue was not available at the time of birth.

Stem cells from teeth present a second and non-invasive opportunity to bank MSCs, in turn opening access to many more potential treatments than cord blood alone.

How Dental pulp and cord tissue MSCs differ in potential

MSCs from milk teeth are understood to have fundamental differences to those found in cord tissue, making it advantageous to have both available.
With over 50,000 scientific publications on the topic of MSCs, there is a large amount of research available that informs us of the differences between stem cells in teeth and cord tissue.

We’ve collected the most notable below, where you can learn more about the different specialised characteristics and how tooth stem cells could be advantageous to therapies:

The nervous system including:

  • Parkinson disease1 (Chun, Soker et al. 2016, Raza, Wagner et al. 2018, Yamada, Nakamura-Yamada et al. 2019)

  • Alzheimer’s disease (Ahmed, Murakami et al. 2016, Ueda, Inden et al. 2020)

  • Motor neurons disease (Goncalves and Przyborski 2018, Gugliandolo, Bramanti et al. 2019)

  • Multiple sclerosis (Giacoppo, Bramanti et al. 2017, Moayeri, Nazm Bojnordi et al. 2017, Zhou, Zhang et al. 2019)

  • Spinal cord injury (Nagashima, Miwa et al. 2017, Yamada, Nakamura-Yamada et al. 2019, Zheng, Feng et al. 2020)

‘Tissue based’ regenerative therapies:

  • Diabetes (Suchanek, Nasry et al. 2017, Yagi Mendoza, Yokoyama et al. 2018, Xu, Fan et al. 2019)

  • Heart disease (Yamaguchi, Shibata et al. 2015, Chalisserry, Nam et al. 2017)

  • Liver failure (Ohkoshi, Hara et al. 2017, Iwanaka, Yamaza et al. 2020)

  • Bone defects (Kong, Shi et al. 2018, Amghar-Maach, Gay-Escoda et al. 2019, Novais, Lesieur et al. 2019)

Key reviews: (Chalisserry, Nam et al. 2017, Goncalves and Przyborski 2018, Raza, Wagner et al. 2018, Yamada, Nakamura-Yamada et al. 2019, Ueda, Inden et al. 2020, Zheng, Feng et al. 2020).

Key ongoing Clinical trials using Dental Pulp Stem cells:

  • Bone tissue engineering with dental pulp stem cells for alveolar cleft repair NCT03766217

  • Clinical study of pulp mesenchymal stem cells in the treatment of primary mild to moderate knee osteoarthritis NCT04130100

  • Stem cells from human exfoliated teeth in treatment of diabetic patients with significantly reduced islet function NCT03912480

  • Pilot trial of mesenchymal stem cells (including DPSCs) for systemic lupus erythematosus

  • Periodontal regeneration using dental pulp stem cells NCT03386877

  • Feasibility of the preparation of an advanced therapy medicinal product for dental pulp regeneration NCT02842515

  • Dose-response evaluation of the Cellavita HD product in patients with Huntington's disease NCT03252535

How are MSCs from teeth and cord tissue different?

CT-MSCs and DP-MSCs do show significant differences in more specialised functions. Being aware of the possibilities, potential and limitations, is essential when selecting the most appropriate source of MSCs for treatment.

Dental Pulp
Cord tissue

UC-MSCs can generate adipocyte derivative tissues? at a greater quality while the DP-MSCs can proliferate? faster and generate a larger number of cells for potential therapies and have a greater capacity for cartilage generation and neural cell generation (Cui, Chen et al. 2015, Yang, Chen et al.

In a recent protein expression study it was identified that the set of protein and bioactive factors? is different between the UC-MSCs and DP-MSCs to facilitate for different types of treatments and complement each other (Caseiro, Santos Pedrosa et al. 2019).

In a more in-depth study regarding the gene expression profile, the profiles of Bone Marrow-MSC, Adipocyte Tissue-MSCs and UC-MSCs were similar while DP-MSCS differed in relative gene expression in several functional genes (Stanko, Kaiserova et al. 2014).

Li et al, have found that the UC-MSCs have a higher immunomodulatory? ability that gives them an advantage and are better suited for cellular therapy for immune-related diseases while the DP-MSCs with the higher proliferation capacity as discussed above as well, are more suited for tissue regeneration-related cellular therapies (Li, Xu et al. 2018).

Especially for DP-MSCs, the prolilferation rate demonstrated by more than 60 population doublings which higlights the time window to expand cells for a therapy (Huang, Gronthos et al. 2009). Equally, signs of degeneration or spontaneous differentiation of the DP-MSCs were absent which indicates that those cells cannot cause tumours when used in therapies (Suchánek, Visek et al. 2010).

Key characteristic and advantage of the DP-MSCs is their stronger ability to survive under the microenvironment of oxidative stress?, which can occur during cell therapy treatments (Zhang, Xing et al. 2018)

A key advantage of the DP-MSCs is that they originate from a region in the brain called the neural crest. Neural crest cells play a pivotal role in embryonic development, giving rise to a variety of cell types such as neurons and glia? of the peripheral nervous system, melanocytes? throughout the body, smooth muscle, craniofacial cartilage and bone (LaBonne and Bronner-Fraser 1999, Chalisserry, Nam et al. 2017, Prasad, Charney et al. 2019), subsequently the potential number therapies deriving from DP-MSCs is enormous and can be life-saving for those that have cells available and ready to be used.

DP-MSCs can be used to repair tooth in-vivo?. In-vivo natural dentin (the inner structure of the tooth structure) regeneration requires the DPSCs to migrate, proliferate and differentiate into a more specialised cell type which then synthesize matrix? to form functional dentin at the damaged sites (Volponi, Pang et al. 2010, Chalisserry, Nam et al. 2017, Itoh, Sasaki et al. 2018). Current focus in research remains the establishment of viable and easily accessible odontogenic cell-sources? such as DP-MSCs that would lead to future bio-tooth engineering achievements (Volponi, Pang et al. 2010, Aurrekoetxea, Garcia-Gallastegui et al. 2015, Angelova Volponi, Zaugg et al. 2018) .

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