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World J Stem Cells. 2011 Apr 26;3(4):25-33. doi: 10.4252/wjsc.v3.i4.25.

Adipose-derived stromal cells: Their identity and uses in clinical trials, an update.

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Louis Casteilla, Valérie Planat-Benard, Patrick Laharrague, Béatrice Cousin, Université de Toulouse, UPS, UMR 5241 Métabolisme, Plasticité et Mitochondrie, BP 84225, F-31 432 Toulouse Cedex 4, France.


In adults, adipose tissue is abundant and can be easily sampled using liposuction. Largely involved in obesity and associated metabolic disorders, it is now described as a reservoir of immature stromal cells. These cells, called adipose-derived stromal cells (ADSCs) must be distinguished from the crude stromal vascular fraction (SVF) obtained after digestion of adipose tissue. ADSCs share many features with mesenchymal stem cells derived from bone marrow, including paracrine activity, but they also display some specific features, including a greater angiogenic potential. Their angiogenic properties as well as their paracrine activity suggest a putative tumor-promoting role for ADSCs although contradictory data have been published on this issue. Both SVF cells and ADSCs are currently being investigated in clinical trials in several fields (chronic inflammation, ischemic diseases, etc.). Apart from a phase III trial on the treatment of fistula, most of these are in phase I and use autologous cells. In the near future, the end results of these trials should provide a great deal of data on the safety of ADSC use.


Cell therapy; Mesenchymal stem cells; Stroma cells; White adipose tissue

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