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Apoptosis. 2013 Oct;18(10):1274-89. doi: 10.1007/s10495-013-0878-7.

Adipose stromal/stem cells assist fat transplantation reducing necrosis and increasing graft performance.

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Division of Pediatric Oncology, Hematology and Marrow Transplantation, Department of Medical and Surgical Sciences for Children & Adults, University of Modena and Reggio Emilia, Modena Policlinic, Modena, 41100, Italy.


Autologous fat transfer (AFT) is a procedure for adipose tissue (AT) repair after trauma, burns, post-tumor resections and lipodystrophies still negatively impacted by the lack of graft persistence. The reasons behind this poor outcome are unclear and seem to involve damages in either harvested/transplanted mature adipocytes or on their mesenchymal progenitors, namely adipose stromal/stem cells (ASC), and due to post-transplant AT apoptosis and involution. A rabbit subcutaneous AT regeneration model was here developed to first evaluate graft quality at different times after implant focusing on related parameters, such as necrosis and vasculogenesis. Standard AFT was compared with a strategy where purified autologous ASC, combined with hyaluronic acid (HA), assisted AFT. Five million of autologous ex vivo isolated CD29+, CD90+, CD49e+ ASC, loaded into HA, enriched 1 ml of AT generating an early significant protective effect in reducing AFT necrosis and increasing vasculogenesis with a preservation of transplanted AT architecture. This beneficial impact of ASC assisted AFT was then confirmed at three months with a robust lipopreservation and no signs of cellular transformation. By a novel ASC assisted AFT approach we ensure a reduction in early cell death favoring an enduring graft performance possibly for a more stable benefit in patients.

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