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J Dermatol Sci. 2008 Feb;49(2):133-42. Epub 2007 Sep 17.

Evidence supporting antioxidant action of adipose-derived stem cells: protection of human dermal fibroblasts from oxidative stress.

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Prostemics Research Institute, Division of Stem Cell Research, Kangnam-Gu, Seoul, Republic of Korea.



Mesenchymal stem cells within the stromal-vascular fraction of subcutaneous adipose tissue, adipose-derived stem cells (ADSCs), produced soluble factors and they exhibit diverse pharmacological effects in skin biology.


The present study examines the protective effect of ADSCs for human dermal fibroblasts (HDFs) through anti-oxidation in a tert-butyl hydroperoxide (tbOOH) induced oxidative injury model.


The conditioned medium of ADSCs (ADSC-CM) was harvested and tested for antioxidant action. ADSC-CM had an antioxidant effect as potent as 100 microM ascorbic acid and various antioxidant proteins were detected in ADSC-CM by proteomic analysis. Morphological change and cell survival assay revealed that incubation with ADSC-CM aided HDFs to resist free radicals induced by tbOOH. In addition, activities of superoxide dismutase and glutathione peroxidase were enhanced in the ADSC-CM treated HDFs which confirmed the study hypothesis that ADSCs protect HDFs through antioxidant action. In a cell cycle analysis, ADSC-CM treatment reversed the apoptotic cell death induced by tbOOH and caused a decrease of sub-G1 cells with respect to untreated cells. The anti-apoptotic effect of ADSC-CM was also reproduced by caspase-3 activity assay.


These results suggest that ADSCs have potent antioxidant activity and protect HDFs from oxidative injury by decreasing apoptotic cells. Therefore, ADSCs and ADSC-CM are good candidates for control and prevention of skin damage from free radicals in various skin conditions.

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