Peripheral-neuron-like properties of differentiated human dental pulp stem cells (hDPSCs)

Yuki Arimura, Yutaka Shindo, Ryu Yamanaka, Mai Mochizuki, Kohji Hotta, Taka Nakahara, Etsuro Ito, Tohru Yoshioka, Kotaro Oka*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

10 Citations (Scopus)


Elucidating the mechanisms underlying human pain sensation requires the establishment of an in vitro model of pain reception comprising human cells expressing pain-sensing receptors and function properly as neurons. Human dental pulp stem cells (hDPSCs) are mesenchymal stem cells and a promising candidate for producing human neuronal cells, however, the functional properties of differentiated hDPSCs have not yet been fully characterized. In this study, we demonstrated neuronal differentiation of hDPSCs via both their expression of neuronal marker proteins and their neuronal function examined using Ca2+ imaging. Moreover, to confirm the ability of nociception, Ca2+ responses in differentiated hDPSCs were compared to those of rat dorsal root ganglion (DRG) neurons. Those cells showed similar responses to glutamate, ATP and agonists of transient receptor potential (TRP) channels. Since TRP channels are implicated in nociception, differentiated hDPSCs provide a useful in vitro model of human peripheral neuron response to stimuli interpreted as pain.

Original languageEnglish
Article numbere0251356
JournalPloS one
Issue number5 May
Publication statusPublished - 2021 May

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • General


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