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Neural Crest-like Cells from Human Dental Pulp

A new STEM CELLS Translational Medicine article from researchers led by Fiona M. Boissonade and Marcelo N. Rivolta (University of Sheffield, UK) details the acquisition of cells from human dental pulp and describes their establishment and growth in preclinically relevant, serum‐free culture conditions. Solis-Castro et al. describe the nature and condition of the samples used from a large group of patients in detail, thereby allowing for a greater understanding in relation to clinical translation. Their results provide evidence of neural crest‐related markers in all growing conditions, and the improvement of neural crest‐like phenotypes by culturing human dental pulp cells (hDPCs) as 3D neurospheres. Importantly, this article also establishes that hDPCs characterized as neural crest‐derived stem cells can differentiate into neural‐like cells and describes a novel impact of BMP4 on the hDPC neural crest‐like phenotype.