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Cytotherapy. 2009;11(6):793-803. doi: 10.3109/14653240903079393.

Human adipose-derived stem cells isolated from young and elderly women: their differentiation potential and scaffold interaction during in vitro osteoblastic differentiation.

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  • 1Department of Medical Pharmacology, Faculty of Medicine, Universit√† degli Studi di Milano, Milan, Italy.



Several authors have demonstrated that adipose tissue contains multipotent cells capable of differentiation into several lineages, including bone, cartilage and fat.


This study compared human adipose-derived stem cells (hASC) isolated from 26 female donors, under 35 and over 45 years old, showing differences in their cell numbers and proliferation, and evaluated their in vitro adipocytic and osteoblastic differentiation potential.


The cellular yield of hASC from older donors was significantly greater than that from younger donors, whereas their clonogenic potential appeared slightly reduced. There were no significant discrepancies between hASC isolated from young and elderly women regarding their in vitro adipocytic differentiation, whereas the osteoblastic potential was significantly reduced by aging. We also assessed the influence of hydroxyapatite (HAP) and silicon carbide (SiC-PECVD) on hASC. Even when cultured on scaffolds, hASC from younger donors had better differentiation into osteoblast-like cells than hASC from older donors; their differentiation ability was up-regulated by the presence of HAP, whereas SiC-PECVD produced no significant effect on hASC osteoblastic differentiation.


The large numbers of hASC resident in adipose tissue and their differentiation features suggest that they could be used for a successful bone regeneration process in vivo. We have shown that age does not seem to affect cell viability and in vitro adipocytic differentiation significantly, whereas it does affects osteoblastic differentiation, in the absence and presence of two-dimensional and three-dimensional scaffolds.

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