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Stem Cells From Tooth Pulp: A Promising Future Treatment for IC/BPS?

Hirose Y, Yamamoto T, Misako N, Funahashi Y, Matsukawa Y, Yamaguchi M, Kawabata S, Gotoh M. Injection of Dental Pulp Stem Cells Promotes Healing of Damaged Bladder Tissue in a Rat Model of Chemically Induced Cystitis. Cell Transplant. 2015 Sep 21. [Epub ahead of print]

There is increasing interest in the use of stem cells as therapy for a variety of diseases. This particular study looked at stem cells derived from dental pulp–the soft tissue found inside of teeth–and its potential healing effects on damaged bladder. To test this, the investigators started with female rats that they had injected with hydrochloride to induce cystitis. The next day, they injected one group of rats with a solution containing the dental pulp stem cells, and another group with a placebo solution (i.e., containing no stem cells). Two days after the injection, they found that both groups of rats had considerable swelling, bleeding, inflammation, and blood vessel damage. However, six days after the injection, there was some evidence that the rats who received the stem cell injections had improved healing. Namely, the placebo-injected rats were still showing traces of swelling and bleeding; and further laboratory studies all pointed to the conclusion that the injected stem cells promoted healing of the damaged tissues. Based on these findings, investigators said that injecting dental pulp stem cells might one day be a promising novel therapy for patients with interstitial cystitis/painful bladder syndrome.