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Diabetes Metab. 2006 Nov;32(5 Pt 1):393-401.

Adipose tissue-derived cells: from physiology to regenerative medicine.

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  • 1UMR 5018 CNRS-UPS, IFR 31, Institut Louis-Bugnard, BP 84225, 31432 Toulouse Cedex 4, France.


During the last past years, the importance and the role of adipose tissues have been greatly expanded. After finding that adipose tissues are metabolically very active, the discovery of leptin moved the status of adipose tissue towards an endocrine tissue able to interact with all major organs via secretion of adipokines. Some years ago, the presence of adipocyte precursors, termed preadipocytes, has been described in all adipose tissue depots from various species of different age. More recently, the discovery that different phenotypes can be obtained from stroma cells of adipose tissue has largely emphazised the concept of adipose tissue plasticity. Therefore, raising great hope in regenerative medicine as adipose tissue can be easily harvested in adults it could represent an abundant source of therapeutic cells. Thus, adipose tissue plays the dual role of Mr Obese Hyde as a main actor of obesity and of Dr Regenerative Jekyll as a source of therapeutic cells. Adipose tissue has not yet revealed all its mysteries although one facet could not be well understood without the other one.

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