Metabolism as an early predictor of DPSCs aging

Dannie Macrin, Ammar Alghadeer, Yan Ting Zhao, Jason W. Miklas, Abdiasis M. Hussein, Damien Detraux, Aaron M. Robitaille, Anup Madan, Randall T. Moon, Yuliang Wang, Arikketh Devi, Julie Mathieu, Hannele Ruohola-Baker

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Tissue resident adult stem cells are known to participate in tissue regeneration and repair that follows cell turnover, or injury. It has been well established that aging impedes the regeneration capabilities at the cellular level, but it is not clear if the different onset of stem cell aging between individuals can be predicted or prevented at an earlier stage. Here we studied the dental pulp stem cells (DPSCs), a population of adult stem cells that is known to participate in the repair of an injured tooth, and its properties can be affected by aging. The dental pulp from third molars of a diverse patient group were surgically extracted, generating cells that had a high percentage of mesenchymal stem cell markers CD29, CD44, CD146 and Stro1 and had the ability to differentiate into osteo/odontogenic and adipogenic lineages. Through RNA seq and qPCR analysis we identified homeobox protein, Barx1, as a marker for DPSCs. Furthermore, using high throughput transcriptomic and proteomic analysis we identified markers for DPSC populations with accelerated replicative senescence. In particular, we show that the transforming growth factor-beta (TGF-β) pathway and the cytoskeletal proteins are upregulated in rapid aging DPSCs, indicating a loss of stem cell characteristics and spontaneous initiation of terminal differentiation. Importantly, using metabolic flux analysis, we identified a metabolic signature for the rapid aging DPSCs, prior to manifestation of senescence phenotypes. This metabolic signature therefore can be used to predict the onset of replicative senescence. Hence, the present study identifies Barx1 as a DPSCs marker and dissects the first predictive metabolic signature for DPSCs aging.

Original languageEnglish
Article number2195
JournalScientific Reports
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - 1 Dec 2019
Externally publishedYes


  • Adipogenesis
  • Biomarkers
  • Cell Differentiation
  • Cells, Cultured
  • Cellular Senescence
  • Dental Pulp/cytology
  • Energy Metabolism
  • Gene Expression Profiling
  • Gene Expression Regulation, Developmental
  • Humans
  • Immunophenotyping
  • Odontogenesis
  • Osteogenesis
  • Proteomics
  • Signal Transduction
  • Stem Cells/cytology
  • Transcriptome


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