Discoloration-resistant calcium aluminosilicate cement has been formulated to overcome the timely problem of tooth discoloration reported in the clinical application of bismuth oxide-containing hydraulic cements. The present study examined the effects of this experimental cement (Quick-Set2) on the viability and proliferation of human dental pulp stem cells (hDPSCs) by comparing the cellular responses with commercially available calcium silicate cement (white mineral trioxide aggregate; WMTA) after different aging periods. Cell viability and proliferation were examined using assays that examined plasma membrane integrity, leakage of cytosolic enzyme, caspase-3 activity for early apoptosis, oxidative stress, mitochondrial metabolic activity and intracellular DNA content. Results of the six assays indicated that both Quick-Set2 and WMTA were initially cytotoxic to hDPSCs after setting for 24 h, with Quick-Set2 being comparatively less cytotoxic than WMTA at this stage. After two aging cycles, the cytotoxicity profiles of the two hydraulic cements were not significantly different and were much less cytotoxic than the positive control (zinc oxide-eugenol cement). Based on these results, it is envisaged that any potential beneficial effect of the discoloration-resistant calcium aluminosilicate cement on osteogenesis by differentiated hDPSCs is more likely to be revealed after outward diffusion and removal of its cytotoxic components.
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