Modulation of microenvironment for controlling the fate of periodontal ligament cells: the role of Rho/ROCK signaling and cytoskeletal dynamics
Transplantation of mesenchymal stem cells (MSCs), which possess self-renewing properties and multipotency, into a periodontal defect is thought to be a useful option for periodontal tissue regeneration. However, developing more reliable and predictable implantation techniques is still needed. Recently, we generated clumps of an MSC/extracellular matrix (ECM) complex (C-MSC), which consisted of cells and self-produced ECM. C-MSCs can regulate their cellular functions in vitro and can be grafted into a defect site, without any artificial scaffold, to induce bone regeneration. Accordingly, this study aimed to evaluate the effect of C-MSC transplantation on periodontal tissue regeneration in beagle dogs. Seven beagle dogs were employed to generate a premolar class III furcation defect model. MSCs isolated from dog ilium were seeded at a density of 7.0 × 104 cells/well into 24-well plates and cultured in growth medium supplemented with 50 µg/mL ascorbic acid for 4 d. To obtain C-MSCs, confluent cells were scratched using a micropipette tip and were then torn off as a cellular sheet. The sheet was rolled up to make round clumps of cells. C-MSCs were maintained in growth medium or osteoinductive medium (OIM) for 5 or 10 d. The biological properties of C-MSCs were evaluated in vitro, and their periodontal tissue regenerative activity was tested by using a dog class III furcation defect model. Immunofluorescence analysis revealed that type I collagen fabricated the form of C-MSCs. OIM markedly elevated calcium deposition in C-MSCs at day 10, suggesting its osteogenic differentiation capacity. Both C-MSCs and C-MSCs cultured with OIM transplantation without an artificial scaffold into the dog furcation defect induced periodontal tissue regeneration successfully compared with no graft, whereas osteogenic-differentiated C-MSCs led to rapid alveolar bone regeneration. These findings suggested that the use of C-MSCs refined by self-produced ECM may represent a novel predictable periodontal tissue regenerative therapy.