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J Nippon Med Sch. 2003 Aug;70(4):300-6.

Mesengenic potential and future clinical perspective of human processed lipoaspirate cells.

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Department of Plastic and Reconstructive Surgery, Nippon Medical School, Tokyo, Japan.


The use of stem cells is promising for future cell-based therapy such as tissue regeneration and engineering. Although Embryonic Stem Cells (ESCs) are theoretically highly beneficial, there are some potential limitations of cell regulations and ethical consideration. Mesenchymal Stem Cells (MSCs) isolated from bone marrow stroma have been shown to possess adipogenic, osteogenic, chondrogenic, myogenic and neurogenic potential in vitro. However, bone marrow procurement is severely painful for donors and often requires general anesthesia. Moreover, only small numbers of cells can be harvested. We previously hypothesized that human adipose tissue obtained from liposuction procedures also contains the same cell population as MSCs, because adipose tissue is mesenchymal in origin, like bone marrow stroma. Subsequent studies revealed that: (1) cell population (which we termed Processed Lipoaspirate [PLA] cells), observed by indirect immunofluorescence study of adipose tissue, consist of cells of mesenchymal origin that have little contamination with endothelial cells, smooth muscle cells and pericytes; (2) these PLA cells exhibit low levels of cell senescence even after multiple passage, as demonstrated by beta-galactosidase staining assay; and (3) PLA cells can differentiate into adipogenic, osteogenic, chondrogenic and myogenic cells in vitro in lineage-specific culture media. These findings suggest that human PLA might have a mesodermal stem cell population. Since human adipose tissue is plentiful, easily harvested in large quantity under local anesthesia with little patient discomfort, it may be an alternative stem cell source for mesenchymal tissue regeneration and engineering. This review highlights our previous research work on PLA cells and future clinical perspectives, particularly in the field of plastic and reconstructive surgery.

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