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Cells Tissues Organs. 2006;184(3-4):117-27.

Applicability of the dyes CFSE, CM-DiI and PKH26 for tracking of human preadipocytes to evaluate adipose tissue engineering.

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Department of Plastic Surgery and Hand Surgery, Burn Center, University Hospital, RWTH Aachen University, Aachen, Germany.


Adipose tissue engineering with preadipocyte-loaded scaffolds requires adequate tracking of preadipocytes to allow evaluation and quantification of cell proliferation, expansion and differentiation in three-dimensional systems. To differentiate between graft and host cells, labeling of preadipocytes before implantation and tracking of these cells until harvest would be useful. Immunohistochemistry enables the differentiation between cells of different species but is time-consuming, expensive, elaborate, and not applicable for autologous transplantation. So far, there is no published method to use externally applied dyes for tracking of human preadipocytes in adipose tissue engineering. We tested the cell dyes PKH26, CM-DiI, and CFSE to analyze their applicability for labeling human preadipocytes. CM-DiI had toxicity levels of 45-70%, while 3-4% proliferating cells were stained on day 35. CFSE revealed clear cytoplasmic coloring in proliferating cells with 5-6% stained cells after 35 days and toxicity ranging from 55 to 90% dead cells. PKH26 demonstrates lowest levels of toxicity and best labeling results after 4 weeks in proliferating preadipocytes in monolayer. Although none of the dyes showed long-lasting labeling during proliferation, all three dyes demonstrated permanent staining in differentiated cells. The results reveal the problems of preadipocyte tracking with fluorescent dyes but justify the dye application for limited time periods.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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