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Biochem Biophys Res Commun. 2008 Apr 11;368(3):455-7. doi: 10.1016/j.bbrc.2008.01.113. Epub 2008 Feb 4.

Mature adipocytes may be a source of stem cells for tissue engineering.

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Department of Animal Sciences, Washington State University, P.O. Box 646310, Pullman, WA 99164, USA.


Adipose tissue contains a large portion of stem cells. These cells appear morphologically like fibroblasts and are primarily derived from the stromal cell fraction. Mature (lipid-filled) adipocytes possess the ability to become proliferative cells and have been shown to produce progeny cells that possess the same morphological (fibroblast-like) appearance as the stem cells from the stromal fraction. A closer examination of mature adipocyte-derived progeny cells may prove to be an emerging area of growth/metabolic physiology that may modify present thinking about adipose tissue renewal capabilities. Knowledge of these cells may also prove beneficial in cell-based therapies for tissue repair, regeneration, or engineering.

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