Lipedema is a painful loose connective tissue disorder characterized by a bilaterally symmetrical fat deposition in the lower extremities. The goal of this study was to characterize the adipose-derived stem cells (ASCs) of healthy and lipedema patients by the expression of stemness markers and the adipogenic and osteogenic differentiation potential. Forty patients, 20 healthy and 20 with lipedema, participated in this study. The stromal vascular fraction (SVF) was obtained from subcutaneous thigh (SVF-T) and abdomen (SVF-A) fat and plated for ASCs characterization. The data show a similar expression of mesenchymal markers, a significant increase in colonies (p < 0.05) and no change in the proliferation rate in ASCs isolated from the SVF-T or SVF-A of lipedema patients compared with healthy patients. The leptin gene expression was significantly increased in lipedema adipocytes differentiated from ASCs-T (p = 0.04) and the PPAR-γ expression was significantly increased in lipedema adipocytes differentiated from ASCs-A (p = 0.03) compared to the corresponding cells from healthy patients. No significant changes in the expression of genes associated with inflammation were detected in lipedema ASCs or differentiated adipocytes. These results suggest that lipedema ASCs isolated from SVF-T and SVF-A have a higher adipogenic differentiation potential compared to healthy ASCs.
- adipose-derived stem cells (ASCs)
- stromal vascular fraction (SVF) adipocyte differentiation