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Impact of cigarette smoking on dental pulp mesenchymal stem cells mediated tissue regeneration

Institution: University of the Pacific
Investigator(s): Nan Xiao,
Award Cycle: 2019 (Cycle 30) Grant #: T30IP0917 Award: $500,849
Subject Area: Oral Disease and Dental Health
Award Type: High Impact Pilot Award

Initial Award Abstract
Cigarette consumption and exposure is a worldwide issue that has devastating health, social, economic and environmental consequences. Although electronic cigarettes have been advertised as a healthier substitute to tobacco smoking, the aerosol of e-cigarettes still contains a wide range of deleterious products, such as nicotine. In regard to the dental health, cigarette smoking increases risks of orofacial clefts in infants, alveolar bone loss, periodontal disease, oral mucosa cancer and tooth decay. More recently research showed that among more than 1000 people, cigarette smokers were 1.7 times more likely than non-smokers to have root canal treatment (RCT) with 28 years follow up. During RCT, the dental pulp is removed, and the canal is disinfected, filled and sealed. However, there is little report on the biological changes in the dental pulp of the cigarette smokers, which leads to the increased RCT treatment. Dental pulp harbors a mixture of cells including dental pulp mesenchymal stem cells (DPSCs), which are critical in mediating dental pulp regeneration. The easy access and high proliferation rate also make DPSCs a valuable resource of personalized tissue regeneration in the future. Therefore, there is much value in preserving the vital dental pulp during dental treatment. Cigarette smoking has been reported to increase the death of stem cells and suppress the regeneration of the stem cells. In this study, we will investigate whether cigarette smoke extract and one of its major deleterious substances nicotine impair the regenerative capacities of human dental pulp stem cells, and make the dental pulp more susceptible to irreversible inflammation. The ultimate goal is to help dentists make a more accurate prognosis, provide better-personalized treatment plans, and significantly reduce the socio-economic cost of dental treatment for cigarette smoking patients.