Objective: To investigate the stem cell-like characteristics of human periodontal ligament (PDL) stromal cells outgrown from orthodontically extracted premolars and to evaluate the potential for myogenic differentiation. Methods: PDL stromal cells were obtained from extracted premolars by using the outgrowth method. Cell morphological features, self-replication capability, and the presence of cell-surface markers, along with osteogenic, adipogenic, and chondrogenic differentiation, were confirmed. In addition, myogenic differentiation was induced by the use of 5-aza-2'-deoxycytidine (5-Aza) for DNA demethylation. Results: PDL stromal cells showed growth patterns and morphological features similar to those of fibroblasts. In contrast, the proliferation rates of premolar PDL stromal cells were similar to those of bone marrow and adipogenic stem cells. PDL stromal cells expressed surface markers of human mesenchymal stem cells (i.e., CD90 and CD105), but not those of hematopoietic stem cells (i.e., CD31 and CD34). PDL stromal cells were differentiated into osteogenic, adipogenic, and chondrogenic lineages. Myotube structures were induced in PDL stromal cells after 5-Aza pretreatment, but not in the absence of 5-Aza pretreatment. Conclusions: PDL stromal cells isolated from extracted premolars can potentially be a good source of postnatal stem cells for oromaxillofacial regeneration in bone and muscle.
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