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Mesenchymal Stem Cells From Adipose Tissue Weave Their Magic

Bottom: the potential of mesenchymal stem cells from adipose tissue (Robert W. Alexander. Understanding Adipose-derived Stromal Vascular Fraction (AD-SVF) Cell Biology and Use on the Basis of Cellular, Chemical, Structural and Paracrine Components: A Concise Review. Journal of Prolotherapy. 2012;4:e855-e869)

Accounting for 20% to 25% of the bodyweight of women and 15% to 20% of the bodyweight of men, the adipose tissue is present across the body. It originates from the mesenchyme and is composed of 2 types: white adipose and brown adipose tissues that have different structures and functions, according to 2015-published research in Revista Española de Cardiología.

Mesenchymal Stem Cells (MSCs) have been isolated from several tissues of the body ranging from the umbilical cord, cord blood, amniotic membranes, bone marrow, muscle, skin, trabecular bone, periosteum, tendon, synovial membrane, and the nervous system according to Orbay and team in Stem Cells International (2012). Research by scientists Zuk and the team in 2001 revealed the presence of stem cells that were isolated from adipose tissue.

Interestingly, scientists Badi and team (2015) reported that adipose-derived stem cells (ADSCs) secrete factors such as TGF-β, prostaglandins, IGF-1, aromatase and Macrophage migration inhibitory factor (MIF) associated with obesity! This makes these cells vital given that obesity needs our attention. The MSCs isolated from adipose tissue show the characters of adhering to plastic, differentiating into osteogenic, adipogenic, and chondrogenic cells, express CD105, CD73, and CD90 along with specific markers such as CD 10, α-SMA and CD 13, to name a few.

Research has shown that the differentiation potential of ASCs is similar to that of MSCs from the bone marrow. According to scientists Francis and team in Stem cells international (2018), MSCs from adipose tissue offer an edge over MSCs from bone marrow for cartilage tissue engineering. This is because of the similar differentiation and lesser invasive approaches to isolate the cells.

Several research articles have described the healing effects of administering adipose tissue MSCs in animal models of ischemic injury. For example, Lin and team described in The Journal of Translational Medicine that delivering MSCs from adipose tissue with sildenafil improved heart functions in rats with dilated cardiomyopathy. The apoptosis of cells was lowered while angiogenesis was increased.  2012-published data in Regenerative Medicine reported the safety of adipose tissue MSCs in the MyStromalCell Trial (NCT01449032). The angina was lowered and the life quality was improved in patients with coronary artery disease (CAD).

Thus, the promise of using Stem Cells is no doubt a reality. The isolation of MSCs from the adipose tissue offers the advantage of lowered invasive approaches to isolate the cells. The use of adipose-MSCs in regenerative medicine and cell therapy is all set to heal damaged tissues and offer relief to patients across the world.


Lina Badi, Blanca Onate, and Gemma Vilahur (2015) Adipose-derived Mesenchymal Stem Cells and Their Reparative Potential in Ischemic Heart Disease. Revista Española de Cardiología 68 (7): 599-611.

  1. A. Zuk, M. Zhu, H. Mizuno et al., Multilineage cells from human adipose tissue: implications for cell-based therapies, Tissue Engineering 2001; 7 (2): 211–228.

Hakan Orbay, Morikuni Tobita, and Hiroshi Mizuno (2012) Mesenchymal Stem Cells Isolated from Adipose and Other Tissues: Basic Biological Properties and Clinical Applications. Stem Cells International Volume 2012; Article ID 461718: 9 pages.

Francis, S. L., Duchi, S., Onofrillo, C., Di Bella, C., & Choong, P. (2018). Adipose-Derived Mesenchymal Stem Cells in the Use of Cartilage Tissue Engineering: The Need for a Rapid Isolation Procedure. Stem cells international2018, 8947548.

Y.C. Lin, S. Leu, C.K. Sun, et al. Early combined treatment with sildenafil and adipose-derived mesenchymal stem cells preserves heart function in rat dilated cardiomyopathy. The Journal of Translational Medicine. 2010;8: 88.

A.A. Qayyum, M. Haack-Sørensen, A.B. Mathiasen, et al. Adipose-derived mesenchymal stromal cells for chronic myocardial ischemia (MyStromalCell Trial): study design. Regenerative Medicine. 2012; 7: 421-428.

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