Wisdom Teeth Stem Cells Could be Used For The Eye

A new interesting study has shown that wisdom teeth stem cells could be turned into cells of the eye’s cornea. The stem cells could one day be used to repair cornea scaring due to infection or injury.

Thus wisdom teeth stem cells could play a role in helping to treat corneal blindness which affects millions of people in the world. It is typically treated with transplants of donor corneas. Of course, with any transplants, shortages can occur and rejection of donor tissue can occur. This can result in permanent vision loss. Using one patient’s own stem cells from their wisdom teeth would avoid these issues.

The research was conducted in association with the University of Pittsburgh. Their Department of Opthalmology showed that stem cells of dental pulp obtained from a wisdom tooth extraction could be turned into corneal stromal cells called keratocytes, which have the same embryonic origin. The researchers injected the keratocytes into the corneas of healthy mice, where they integrated without any signs of rejection. In addition the researchers also used the cells to develop constructs of corneal stroma similar to natural tissue.

The researchers feel dental pulp stem cells have great potential for regenerative therapies. In the future they plan to assess whether the technique can correct corneal scarring in animals.

Source:

Fatima N. Syed-Picard and et. al. Dental Pulp Stem Cells: A New Cellular Resource for Corneal Stromal Regeneration. STEM CELLS Translational Medicine, February 2015.

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