Stem cell therapy is a promising area in regenerative medicine. Periodontal granulation tissues are often discarded during conventional surgery. If stromal stem cells can be isolated from these tissues, they can be used for subsequent surgery on the same patient. Fifteen human periodontal granulation tissue samples were obtained from intrabony defects during surgery. Immunohistochemistry (IHC) was carried out on five of the samples to identify STRO-1, a marker of mesenchymal stem cells. Five samples underwent flow cytometry analysis for the same marker. The remaining five samples were characterized by "colony formation unit-fibroblast" (CFU-f) assay and selected for proliferation assay, flow cytometry of stem cell markers, immunocytochemistry (ICC), multipotent differentiation assays, and repairing critical-size defects in mice. The ratio of STRO-1+ cells detected by IHC was 5. 91 ± 1. 50%. The analysis of flow cytometry for STRO-1 was 6. 70 ± 0. 81%. Approximately two thirds of the CFU-f colonies had a strong reaction to STRO-1 in ICC staining. The cells were multipotent both in vitro and in vivo. Mice given bone grafts and stem cells showed significantly better bone healing than those without stem cells. Multipotent stromal stem cells can be isolated from human periodontal granulation tissues. These cells improve new bone formation when transplanted in mouse calvarial defects. Isolating stem cells from relatively accessible sites without extra procedures is clinically advantageous. This study demonstrated that human periodontal granulation tissues contain isolatable multipotent stem cells. The cells may be a good source for autotransplantation in subsequent treatment.
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