Stem cells have attracted great interest in the development of tissue engineering. However, the self-regeneration and multi-differentiation capabilities of stem cells are easily impaired during cell transplantation. Recent studies have demonstrated that Sapindus mukorossi (S. mukorossi) seed oil has various positive biological effects. However, it is not yet clear whether S. mukorossi seed oil can increase the growth and differentiation of dental pulp mesenchymal stem cells (DPSCs). The aim of this study is to investigate the effects of S. mukorossi seed oil on the proliferation and differentiation of DPSCs. DPSCs with and without S. mukorossi seed oil, respectively, were evaluated and compared. The viabilities of the cells were assessed by MTT tests. The osteogenetic and odontogenetic capacities of the DPSCs were tested using Alizarin red S staining and alkaline phosphatase (ALP) activity assays. In addition, real-time PCR was performed to examine the gene expression of ALP, BMP-2 and DMP-1. Finally, extracellular matrix vesicle secretion was detected via scanning electron microscopy. No significant difference was observed in the viabilities of the DPSCs with and without S. mukorossi seed oil, respectively. However, under osteogenic and odontogenic induction, S. mukorossi seed oil increased the secretion of mineralized nodules and the ALP activity of the DPSCs (p <0.05). The ALP gene expression of the differentiation-induced DPSCs was also enhanced. Finally, a greater secretion of extracellular matrix vesicles was detected in the DPSCs following odontogenic induction complemented with S. mukorossi seed oil. Overall, the present results show that S. mukorossi seed oil promotes the osteogenic/odontogenic differentiation and matrix vesicle secretion of DPSCs.
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