The wisdom teeth, also called third molar are almost always a nuisance: in many cases it is necessary to extract and rare is the person who does not suffer discomfort when these late teeth begin to appear.
However, research carried out by researchers from the International University of Catalonia has just shown that wisdom teeth are not so useless, since they contain populations of stem cells from which different tissues such as bone, hepatic, can be regenerated and the neuronal.
The team has been able to isolate subpopulations of pluripotent stem cells, similar to embryonic stem cells but located in adult cells, and has demonstrated in vitro their ability to regenerate tissues.
The researchers chose the wisdom teeth to work because, being the last teeth to come out, they are in earlier stages of development and contain more amount of pulp, from which the stem cells are extracted. An additional advantage is that, very often, the third molar must be removed, making it an ideal candidate for tissue regeneration.
Since the cells are from the same patient who will receive the treatment, the risk of rejection is eliminated when they are transplanted and there are no associated ethical problems.
The next phase of the study, which is published in the Journal of Cell Science , will be the conduct of clinical trials to check in vivo the ability of isolated stem cells to regenerate tissues and thus open the door to multiple therapeutic possibilities.