Send to

Choose Destination
Arch Plast Surg. 2017 Sep;44(5):370-377. doi: 10.5999/aps.2017.44.5.370. Epub 2017 Sep 15.

Effects of Human Adipose-Derived Stem Cells on the Survival of Rabbit Ear Composite Grafts.

Author information

Department of Plastic and Reconstructive Surgery, National Health Insurance Service Ilsan Hospital, Goyang, Korea.
Institute for Human Tissue Restoration, Department of Plastic and Reconstructive Surgery, Severance Hospital, Yonsei University College of Medicine, Seoul, Korea.



Composite grafts are frequently used for facial reconstruction. However, the unpredictability of the results and difficulties with large defects are disadvantages. Adipose-derived stem cells (ADSCs) express several cytokines, and increase the survival of random flaps and fat grafts owing to their angiogenic potential.


This study investigated composite graft survival after ADSC injection. Circular chondrocutaneous composite tissues, 2 cm in diameter, from 15 New Zealand white rabbits were used. Thirty ears were randomly divided into 3 groups. In the experimental groups (1 and 2), ADSCs were subcutaneously injected 7 days and immediately before the operation, respectively. Similarly, phosphate-buffered saline was injected in the control group just before surgery in the same manner as in group 2. In all groups, chondrocutaneous composite tissue was elevated, rotated 90 degrees, and repaired in its original position. Skin flow was assessed using laser Doppler 1, 3, 6, 9, and 12 days after surgery. At 1 and 12 days after surgery, the viable area was assessed using digital photography; the rabbits were euthanized, and immunohistochemical staining for CD31 was performed to assess neovascularization.


The survival of composite grafts increased significantly with the injection of ADSCs (P<0.05). ADSC injection significantly improved neovascularization based on anti-CD31 immunohistochemical analysis and vascular endothelial growth factor expression (P<0.05) in both group 1 and group 2 compared to the control group. No statistically significant differences in graft survival, anti-CD31 neovascularization, or microcirculation were found between groups 1 and 2.


Treatment with ADSCs improved the composite graft survival, as confirmed by the survival area and histological evaluation. The differences according to the injection timing were not significant.


Adult stem cells; Graft survival; Stem cell transplantation

Supplemental Content

Full text links

Icon for Publishing M2Community Icon for PubMed Central
Loading ...
Support Center