A new study has differentiated dental stem cells, further demonstrating their plasticity, into dystrophin producing multi-nucleated muscle cells. The research, published in PLoS One, was led by Jeremy Mao, DDS, PhD, professor and director of the Tissue Engineering and Regenerative Medicine Laboratory (TERML) at Columbia University Medical Center.

Mao utilized myogenic progenitor cells derived from dental stem cells to demonstrate significantly higher numbers of dystrophin-producing cells than the parent heterogeneous stems cells from which they were derived. The findings suggest therapeutic potential for muscle regeneration and have implications for disorders such as Muscular Dystrophy, in which the body’s inability to produce dystrophin results in health complications.

According to the study’s authors, the latest research, along with recently published research demonstrating the ability of dental stem cells to differentiate into bone, myocardiocytes (heart muscle), and insulin-producing pancreatic beta cells, supports the wisdom of banking stems cells.