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Characterization of the radioresponse of human apical papilla-derived cells

Shigehiro Abe12, Keiichi Hamada2, Satoshi Yamaguchi2, Teruo Amagasa2 and Masahiko Miura1*

Author Affiliations

1 Oral Radiation Oncology, Department of Oral Restitution, Tokyo Medical and Dental University, 1-5-45 Yushima, Bunkyo-ku, Tokyo 113-8549, Japan

2 Maxillofacial Surgery, Department of Maxillofacial Reconstruction and Function, Graduate School of Medical and Dental Sciences, Tokyo Medical and Dental University, 1-5-45 Yushima, Bunkyo-ku, Tokyo 113-8549, Japan

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Stem Cell Research & Therapy 2011, 2:2  doi:10.1186/scrt43

Published: 20 January 2011



The purpose of this study was to characterize the radiobiological properties of stem/progenitor cells derived from apical papilla-derived cells (APDCs) compared to bulk APDCs.


APDCs were isolated from freshly extracted human third molars with immature apices. Multipotent spheres, which are thought to contain an enriched population of stem/progenitor cells, were formed from the APDCs, using a neurosphere culture technique. After γ-irradiation, papillary sphere-forming cells (PSFCs) and bulk APDCs were subjected to radiosensitivity and hard tissue-forming assays.


Compared to bulk APDCs, the PSFCs exhibited a radioresistant phenotype and a higher capacity for DNA double strand break repair. Irradiation induced a significant increase in a senescence-like phenotype in both cell types. Neither type of cells exhibited a significant induction of apoptotic changes after 8 Gy of irradiation. Ability to form hard tissue in vivo was significantly decreased in PSFCs, but not in APDCs following 4 Gy of irradiation.


We demonstrated for the first time that stem/progenitor cells derived from APDCs exhibit a radioresistant phenotype; however, the hard tissue forming ability in vivo, but not bulk APDCs, was significantly reduced after irradiation.