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Circulation. 2004 Jul 20;110(3):349-55. Epub 2004 Jul 6.

Improvement of postnatal neovascularization by human adipose tissue-derived stem cells.

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  • 1Department of Cardiovascular Physiology, J-W Goethe University, Frankfurt, Germany.



Several studies have suggested that stem cells are present in the stroma-vascular fraction (SVF) of adipose tissue (AT).


To characterize the cell populations that compose the SVF of human AT originating from subcutaneous and visceral depots, fluorescence-activated cell sorter analysis was performed by use of fluorescent antibodies directed against the endothelial and stem cell markers CD31, CD34, CD133, and ABCG2. The freshly harvested SVF contained large numbers of CD34+ cells as well as cells expressing CD133 and ABCG2. Further analysis of the CD34+ cells revealed 2 CD34+ cell populations with differential expression of the endothelial cell marker CD31. Selection of the CD34+/CD31- cells by use of magnetic microbeads, followed by cell culture, demonstrated that this cell population could differentiate under appropriate conditions into endothelial cells. Moreover, in mouse ischemic hindlimb, intravenous injection of CD34(+)/CD31(-) cells was associated with an increase in the blood flow and the capillary density and an incorporation of the cells in the leg vasculature.


Our data indicate the presence of a cell population within the SVF of human AT characterized as CD34+/CD31- exhibiting characteristics of endothelial progenitor cells. Therefore, human AT might represent a source of stem/progenitor cells useful for cell therapy to improve vasculogenesis in adults.

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