The repair of dental pulp by direct capping with calcium hydroxide or by implantation of bioactive extracellular matrix (ECM) molecules implies a cascade of four steps: a moderate inflammation, the commitment of adult reserve stem cells, their proliferation and terminal differentiation. The link between the initial inflammation and cell commitment is not yet well established but appears as a potential key factor in the reparative process. Either the release of cytokines due to inflammatory events activates resident stem (progenitor) cells, or inflammatory cells or pulp fibroblasts undergo a phenotypic conversion into osteoblast/odontoblast-like progenitors implicated in reparative dentin formation. Activation of antigen-presenting dendritic cells by mild inflammatory processes may also promote osteoblast/odontoblast-like differentiation and expression of ECM molecules implicated in mineralization. Recognition of bacteria by specific odontoblast and fibroblast membrane receptors triggers an inflammatory and immune response within the pulp tissue that would also modulate the repair process.
- Dental pulp
- Extracellular matrix molecules
- Immune cells
- Tissue repair
ASJC Scopus subject areas