Introduction: Several studies have attempted to use human dental pulp stem cells (hDPSCs) for pulp-dentin complex regeneration in vitro. However, the safety of such applications should be first evaluated in vivo before their use in clinical trials. The purpose of this study was to investigate the in vivo fate of intrapulpally transplanted hDPSCs. Methods: hDPSCs were isolated and cultured from impacted third molars. In vivo experiments were performed using 7-week-old male BALB/c nude mice. Under deep anesthesia, 1 × 105 hDPSCs were transplanted in mice via the tail vein for intravenous injection or into the pulp chamber for intrapulpal transplantation. A total of 56 mice, 28 per group, were used. Mice were sacrificed at different time points, and the numbers of hDPSCs in the organs were analyzed quantitatively. In addition, qualitative analysis was performed to detect intrapulpally transplanted hDPSCs. Results: Intravenously injected hDPSCs were mostly distributed to the lungs and rarely detected in other organs at all observed time points. The hDPSCs transplanted into the pulp chamber rarely migrated to other organs over time. Conclusions: These data indicate a differential distribution of transplanted hDPSCs between the intravenous and intrapulpal route and show the safety of pulpal transplantation of hDPSCs.
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