Researchers at the Tohoku University Graduate School of Dentistry say they have designed a safer, faster, and cheaper cell-based regenerative therapy for the treatment of periodontitis without the shortcomings and limitations of previous therapies.
“The use of cell-based therapies is a promising approach to treat human disease. This kind of treatment paradigm is important because commercially available stem cells that represent a cell-based therapy specifically developed to treat periodontal tissue regeneration will reduce time and cost while improving quality assurance,” said Masahiro Saito, PhD, corresponding author and professor with the school’s Department of Restorative Dentistry.
Periodontitis currently is treated via infection-fighting methods, molecules known as growth factors that promote tissue growth, and tissue regeneration using autologous mesenchymal stem cells (MSC) or a patient’s own bone marrow stem cells that belong to skeletal tissues such as cartilage, bone, and fat.
The ultimate goal of periodontal disease treatment is the reorganization of functional tissue that can regenerate the tissue that has been lost due to disease. However, the side effects of current regenerative treatments have been limited depending on age, systemic disease, and tissue quality and, as such, have been associated with severe defects.
Instead of using an organism’s very own cells, the researchers transplant stem cells from a healthy organism into an affected one, or allogeneic stem cells, successfully overcoming the shortcomings associated with autologous stem cell treatments.
More specifically, the researchers use a minipig periodontal defect model in which they demonstrate that allogeneic adipose derived mesenchymal progenitor stem cells (ADMPCs), or MSCs derived from fat tissue, transplanted from healthy minipigs to those who have periodontal defects is safe and effective for treating periodontitis.
“Our study demonstrates that ADMPCs appear to be safe and not triggering an immune response in allogeneic settings, and as such it explores the potential use of allogeneic MSCs for tissue regeneration. This study is a powerful first step towards further development of stem cell-based therapy for the treatment of periodontal disease,” said Saito.
Given their results, the researchers plan to take their therapy approach to human beings.
“Based on the results of our study, we are planning to perform a clinical trial and show a relationship between the positive effects of the ADMPCs on the immune system and subsequent successful periodontal tissue regeneration,” said Saito.