Stem cells participate in tissue restoration and therapies. The oral cavity, the site of smoking exposure, contains stem cells which are involved in the development, maintenance, and repair of oral tissues. By residing in the oral cavity, stem cells are exposed to and susceptible to the effects of smoking. Periodontitis has been associated with increased incidences of other illnesses such as cardiovascular diseases. We hypothesis that smoking suppression of stem cell potentials by miRNAs is a separate and independent pathway than the pathway via the nicotine receptor activation. Smoking perturbs miRNA expression, resulting in decreased stem cell regeneration potential that delays healing of periodontitis.
Part of the book: Non-Coding RNAs