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Tissue Eng. 2005 Nov-Dec;11(11-12):1840-51.

Adipose tissue engineering based on mesenchymal stem cells and basic fibroblast growth factor in vitro.

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Department of Pharmaceutical Technology, University of Regensburg, Regensburg, Germany.


Despite the clinical need for reconstructive and plastic surgery, the supply of engineered adipose tissue equivalents still remains a challenge. As yet, only preadipocytes have been applied as a cell material for the in vitro tissue engineering of fat. Herein, we report the establishment of a three-dimensional (3-D) long-term cell culture, using bone marrow-derived mesenchymal stem cells (MSCs) as an alternative cell source and custom-made poly(lactic-co-glycolic acid) (PLGA) scaffolds as a cell carrier. Cell-polymer constructs were cultivated for 4 weeks in both the absence and presence of basic fibroblast growth factor (bFGF), which was previously shown to strongly enhance the adipogenesis of MSCs in conventional 2-D short-term culture. A striking enhancement of the adipogenic differentiation of MSCs and tissue development caused by bFGF in the 3-D culture was observed by osmium tetroxide histology and scanning electron microscopy. At the molecular level, reflecting the increased accumulation of lipids, bFGF increased the enzymatic activity of glycerol-3-phosphate dehydrogenase, a late marker of adipogenesis, and the expression of adipocyte-specific genes peroxisome proliferator activated receptor-gamma2 (PPARgamma2) and glucose transporter-4 (GLUT4), as assessed by reverse transcription-polymerase chain reaction. This study demonstrates that the use of bone marrow-derived MSCs, especially in combination with bFGF, may represent a promising approach to adipose tissue engineering.

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