Periodontitis, a major chronic inflammatory disease of dental tissue, causes periodontal tissue destruction and alveolar bone resorption. When large amounts of alveolar bone are lost, it is very difficult to regenerate the bone using conventional treatments. Periodontal ligament stem cells (PDLSCs) have attracted much attention as potential cell sources for alternative periodontitis regenerative treatment because of their capacity for self-renewal and multipotency. Recently, PDLSCs were found to possess immunomodulatory properties. PDLSCs lack the expression of immune co-stimulating factors and suppress immune cell proliferation following stimulation with mitogens or in mixed allogeneic lymphocyte reactions. Because of these characteristics, the anti-inflammatory effects of PDLSCs and the establishment of allogeneic PDLSC transplantation therapies have been well studied. The aim of this review is to provide an assessment of the latest findings on the immunomodulatory properties of PDLSCs and their potential clinical application for periodontal tissue regeneration.
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