The long-held belief about adipose tissue was that it was relatively inert in terms of biological activity. It was believed that its primary role was energy storage; however, that was shattered with the discovery of adipokines. Scientists interested in regenerative medicine then reported that adipose tissue is rich in adult stromal/stem cells. Following these initial reports, adipose stem cells (ASCs) rapidly garnered interest for use as potential cellular therapies. The primary advantages of ASCs compared to other mesenchymal stem cells (MSCs) include the abundance of the tissue source for isolation, the ease of methodologies for tissue collection and cell isolation, and their therapeutic potential. Studies conducted both in vitro and in vivo have demonstrated that ASCs are multipotent, possessing the ability to differentiate into cells of mesodermal origins, including adipocytes, chondrocytes, osteoblast and others. Moreover, ASCs produce a broad array of cytokines, growth factors, nucleic acids (miRNAs), and other macromolecules into the surrounding milieu by secretion or in the context of microvesicles. The secretome of ASCs has been shown to alter tissue biology, stimulate tissue-resident stem cells, change immune cell activity, and mediate therapeutic outcomes. The quality of ASCs is subject to donor-to-donor variation driven by age, body mass index, disease status and possibly gender and ethnicity. This review discusses adipose stromal/stem cell action mechanisms and their potential utility as cellular therapeutics.
- Adipose stem cells
- Clinical trials