Researchers uncovered 'a new population of mesenchymal stromal cells' in a continuously growing mouse incisor model.
"The discovery of this new population of stromal cells was very exciting and has enormous potential in regenerative medicine," said Dr Denis Corbeil, lead researcher of the study.
They have shown that these cells contribute to the formation of dentin, the hard tissue that covers the main body of a tooth.
Importantly, the work showed that when these stem cells are activated, they send signals back to the mother cells of the tissue to control the number of cells produced, through a molecular gene called Dlk1.
In the same study, the researchers also demonstrated that Dlk1 can enhance stem cell activation and tissue regeneration in a wound-healing model.
This mechanism could provide an innovative solution for tooth repair, addressing problems such as tooth decay, crumbling and trauma treatment.
Further studies are needed to validate the results for clinical applications to determine the appropriate duration and dose of treatment.