Craniomaxillofacial Sources of Mesenchymal Stem Cells: A Brief Review

Alan Nguyen, Vi Nguyen, Aaron W. James, Michelle A. Scott


Tissue specific mesenchymal stem cells are of great scientific interest across diverse fields in stem cell biology and medicine. Sources of mesenchymal stem cells (MSC) in the craniomaxillofacial skeleton are numerous and are of significant interest to craniofacial and oral surgeons, among other medical and dental specialties. Mesenchymal stem cells are defined by their characteristic cell surface marker expression, multipotentiality and ability for self-renewal. Bone marrow derived MSC (BMSC) are most commonly studied, but are of low abundance in the craniomaxillofacial (CMF) skeleton. Alternative CMF sources of MSC are diverse and include dental pulpal stem cells (DPSC), periodontal ligament stem cells (PDLSC), suture-derived mesenchymal stromal cells (SMC), gingival mesenchymal stem cells (GMSC)and adipose-derived MSC (ASC). This brief review will introduce various MSC sources derived from the head and neck, along with a discussion of their identity, characteristics and results of preclinical studies in tissue engineering.


Periodontal ligament stem cells; Suture-derived mesenchymal stromal cells; Dental pulpal stem cells; Gingival mesenchymal stem cells; Adipose-derived MSC

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