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Characterization of dental pulp stem/stromal cells of Huntington monkey tooth germs

Brooke R Snyder12, Pei-Hsun Cheng12, Jinjing Yang12, Shang-Hsun Yang12, Anderson HC Huang3 and Anthony WS Chan12*

  • * Corresponding author: Anthony WS Chan

  • † Equal contributors

Author affiliations

1 Yerkes National Primate Research Center, 954 Gatewood Rd., N.E. Atlanta, GA 30329, USA

2 Department of Human Genetics, Emory University School of Medicine, 615 Michael St. Whitehead Building, Atlanta, GA 30322, USA

3 Department of Oral Pathology, School of Dentistry, Kaohsiung Medical University, 100 Shih-Chuan 1st Road, Kaohsiung, Taiwan, Republic of China

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Citation and License

BMC Cell Biology 2011, 12:39  doi:10.1186/1471-2121-12-39

Published: 12 September 2011



Dental pulp stem/stromal cells (DPSCs) are categorized as adult stem cells (ASCs) that retain multipotent differentiation capabilities. DPSCs can be isolated from individuals at any age and are considered to be true personal stem cells, making DPSCs one of the potential options for stem cell therapy. However, the properties of DPSCs from individuals with an inherited genetic disorder, such as Huntington's disease (HD), have not been fully investigated.


To examine if mutant huntingtin (htt) protein impacts DPSC properties, we have established DPSCs from tooth germ of transgenic monkeys that expressed both mutant htt and green fluorescent protein (GFP) genes (rHD/G-DPSCs), and from a monkey that expressed only the GFP gene (rG-DPSCs), which served as a control. Although mutant htt and oligomeric htt aggregates were overtly present in rHD/G-DPSCs, all rHD/G-DPSCs and rG-DPSCs shared similar characteristics, including self-renewal, multipotent differentiation capabilities, expression of stemness and differentiation markers, and cell surface antigen profile.


Our results suggest that DPSCs from Huntington monkeys retain ASC properties. Thus DPSCs derived from individuals with genetic disorders such as HD could be a potential source of personal stem cells for therapeutic purposes.

Adult stem cells; animal model; DPSCs; Huntington's disease; transgenic HD monkeys; cell therapy