SSEA-4 is a marker of human deciduous periodontal ligament stem cells

H. Fukushima, N. Kawanabe, S. Murata, Yoshihito Ishihara, Takeshi Yanagita, T. A. Balam, T. Yamashiro

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

22 Citations (Scopus)


Although human deciduous teeth are an ideal source of adult stem cells, no method for identifying deciduous periodontal ligament (D-PDL) stem cells has so far been developed. In the present study, we investigated whether stage-specific embryonic antigen (SSEA)-4 is a marker that could be used to isolate D-PDL stem cells. The isolated D-PDL cells met the minimum criteria for mesenchymal stem cells (MSCs): They showed plastic adherence, specific-surface antigen expression, and multipotent differentiation potential. SSEA-4+ D-PDL cells were detected in vitro and in vivo. A flow cytometric analysis demonstrated that 22.7% of the D-PDL cells were positive for SSEA-4. SSEA-4+ clonal D-PDL cells displayed multilineage differentiation potential: They were able to differentiate into adipocytes, osteoblasts, and chondrocytes in vitro. A clonal assay demonstrated that 61.5% of the SSEA-4+ D-PDL cells had adipogenic, osteogenic, and chondrogenic potential. Our present study demonstrated that SSEA-4+ D-PDL cells are a subset of multipotent stem cells. Hence, SSEA-4 is a specific marker that can be used to identify D-PDL stem cells.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)955-960
Number of pages6
JournalJournal of dental research
Issue number10
Publication statusPublished - Oct 2012


  • adult stem cells
  • clonal assays
  • flow cytometry
  • human deciduous periodontal ligament
  • multipotential differentiation
  • stage-specific embryonic antigen-4

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Dentistry(all)


Dive into the research topics of 'SSEA-4 is a marker of human deciduous periodontal ligament stem cells'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this