Stem cells from teeth can grow to resemble brain cells

Washington: Scientists have discovered that stem cells taken from teeth can grow to resemble brain cells.

The researchers from University of Adelaide have revealed that stem cells from teeth can develop and form complex networks of brain-like cells, but these cells haven't developed into fully fledged neurons.

Dr Kylie Ellis, Commercial Development Manager with the University's commercial arm, Adelaide Research and Innovation (ARI), said that stem cells from teeth have great potential to grow into new brain or nerve cells, and this could potentially assist with treatments of brain disorders, such as stroke.

According to the study, stem cells derived from teeth developed into cells that closely resembled neurons.

Ellis added that they can do this by providing an environment for the cells that is as close to a normal brain environment as possible, so that instead of becoming cells for teeth they become brain cells.

The researchers believe that this work with dental pulp stem cells opens up the potential for modelling many more common brain disorders in the laboratory, which could help in developing new treatments and techniques for patients.

The study was published in the journal Stem Cell Research and Therapy.  

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