Characterization of a stem cell of apical papilla cell line: Effect of passage on cellular phenotype

Nikita B. Ruparel, José Flávio Affonso De Almeida, Michael A Henry, Anibal R Diogenes

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

76 Scopus citations


Introduction: Stem cells of the apical papilla (SCAP) have been identified as an important population of mesenchymal stem cells (MSCs) in regenerative endodontics. Preclinical studies that evaluate the various aspects of the regenerative process must use fully characterized MSCs. The phenotype of these cells when maintained in culture is crucial for the translational applicability of these studies. Thus, in this study, we aimed to characterize a SCAP cell line that preferentially expressed and maintained the required MSCs markers in culture, namely the RP-89 cell line. Methods: Apical papillae from extracted mandibular third molars from a single donor were processed for immunohistochemistry, cell culture, and RT-PCR. SCAP were successfully cultured and maintained in culture for up to 20 passages. The expression of MSC-related molecular markers was analyzed by laser confocal microscopy, flow cytometry, and real-time RT-PCR arrays. Results: Cells within the apical papillae tissue had a widespread expression of CD90, whereas the expression of CD105 and CD73 was compartmentalized to the blood vessels and periphery, respectively. The RP-89 cell line population coexpressed CD73, CD90, and CD105 in all passages evaluated. There was a dramatic change in gene expression when cells were cultured and maintained in culture with the up-regulation of MSCs markers, inhibitors of differentiation, and stemness markers. Conversely, genes involved in the differentiation of MSCs were suppressed. Conclusions: Collectively, these results highlight the need to use fully characterized cell lines in regenerative studies and provide the foundational knowledge of gene expression modulation that occurs in cultured SCAP.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)357-363
Number of pages7
JournalJournal of endodontics
Issue number3
StatePublished - Mar 2013


  • Apical papilla
  • endodontics
  • flow cytometry
  • passage
  • polymerase chain reaction array
  • regenerative
  • stem cell

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Dentistry(all)


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