General gene expression patterns and stemness of the gingiva and dental pulp

Ko Eun Lee, Chung Min Kang, Mijeong Jeon, Seong Oh Kim, Jae Ho Lee, Hyung Jun Choi

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

4 Citations (Scopus)


Background/purpose: Due to the unique properties of healing processes and cellular differentiation, the gingiva and dental pulp have attracted attention as a potential source of mesenchymal stem cells (MSCs). The purpose of this study was to obtain molecular-level information on these tissues in terms of their function and differentiation processes and investigate stemness. Materials and methods: Healthy gingival tissues were collected from patients (n = 9; aged 7–12 years) who underwent simple surgical procedures, and normal dental pulp tissues were obtained from patients (n = 25; aged 11–25 years) undergoing tooth extraction for orthodontic reasons. Complementary DNA microarray, qRT-qPCR, and immunohistochemical staining were performed to assess general and MSC gene expression patterns. Results: In the gingival tissue, genes related to keratinization, the formation of epithelial cells and ectoderm, and immune and/or inflammatory responses were highly expressed. Meanwhile, in the dental pulp tissue, genes related to ion transport, neuronal development and axon guidance, bone and enamel mineralization, extracellular matrix organization, and angiogenesis were highly expressed. When focusing on the expression of MSC genes, induced pluripotent stem (iPS) cell genes, such as Sox2, c-Myc, and KLF4, were expressed at higher levels in the gingival tissue, whereas dental stem cell genes, such as NT5E and VCAM1, were expressed in dental pulp tissue. Conclusion: We found different general and MSC gene expression patterns between the gingival and dental pulp tissue. These results have implications for future regenerative medicine, considering the application of gingival tissue as a potential source of iPS cells.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)284-292
Number of pages9
JournalJournal of Dental Sciences
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - 2022 Jan

Bibliographical note

Publisher Copyright:
© 2021 Association for Dental Sciences of the Republic of China

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • General Dentistry


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