Stem cells found in gum tissue may be best wound healers

Washington: Stem cells found in mouth tissue have the ability to develop into different types of cells and can also relieve inflammatory disease, a new study has revealed.

The cells featured in the study by Ostrow School of Dentistry of USC were `gingival mesenchymal` stem cells (GMSC), which are found in the gingiva, or gum tissue, within the mouth.

Professor Songtao Shi, the study`s senior author said that gingiva has much less inflammatory reaction and heals much faster when compared to skin.

The study shows that there are two types of GMSC: those that arise from the mesoderm layer of cells during embryonic development (M-GMSC) and those that come from cranial neural crest cells (N-GMSC).

The cranial neural crest cells develop into many important structures of the head and face, and 90 percent of the gingival stem cells were found to be N-GMSC.

The two types of stem cells vary dramatically in their abilities. N-GMSC were not only easier to change into other types of cells, including neural and cartilage-producing cells; they also had much more of a healing effect on inflammatory disease than their counterparts.

When the N-GMSC were transplanted into mice with dextrate sulfate sodium-induced colitis - an inflamed condition of the colon - the inflammation was significantly reduced.

The study is published in the Journal of Dental Research.