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J Eur Acad Dermatol Venereol. 2012 Feb;26(2):180-5. doi: 10.1111/j.1468-3083.2011.04028.x. Epub 2011 Mar 9.

Induction of fat cell necrosis in human fat tissue after treatment with phosphatidylcholine and deoxycholate.

Author information

1
Departments of Dermatology, Venereology and Allergology, Ruhr-University Bochum, Bochum, Germany. f.bechara@derma.de

Abstract

BACKGROUND:

Injections with phosphatidylcholine- and deoxycholate-containing substances are used to treat localized fat accumulation and lipomas. It is believed that the injected substances induce fat cell destruction with subsequent acute panniculitis followed by a repair process of the treated fat tissue.

OBJECTIVES:

We investigated whether necrosis or apoptosis of fat cells was induced by the injected substances.

METHODS:

Samples of fat tissue of lipoma were collected at various times after injection and evaluated by light and electron microscopy, by immunostaining for active caspase-3 and antideoxyribonuclease I, in situ end-labelling (TUNEL staining), and biochemical caspase-3 assays.

RESULTS:

Light and electron microscopy showed fat cell necrosis in all areas of the treated lipomas. Low levels of active caspase-3 indicated the absence of apoptosis.

CONCLUSIONS:

Injection of the lipolytic substances phosphatidylcholine and deoxycholate leads to fat cell necrosis rather than apoptosis. However, additional studies evaluating different dosing and further time points after treatment are necessary.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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