Differences in stem and progenitor cell yield in different subcutaneous adipose tissue depots

J K Fraser, I Wulur, Z Alfonso, M Zhu, E S Wheeler
Cytotherapy 2007, 9 (5): 459-67

BACKGROUND: Human adipose tissue has been shown to contain multipotent cells with properties similar to mesenchymal stromal cells. While there have been many studies of the biology of these cells, no study has yet evaluated issues associated with tissue harvest.

METHODS: Adipose tissue was obtained from the subcutaneous space of the abdomen and hips of 10 donors using both syringe and pump-assisted liposuction. Tissue was digested with collagenase and then assayed for the presence of different stem and progenitor cell types using clonogenic culture assays, including fibroblast colony-forming unit (CFU-F) and alkaline phosphatase-positive colony-forming unit (CFU-AP). Paired analysis of samples obtained from the same individual was used to compare harvest method and site.

RESULTS: Syringe suction provided significantly greater recovery of adipocytes and a non-significant trend towards improved recovery of cells in the adipocyte-depleted fraction. There was considerable donor-to-donor variation in stem cell recovery. However, paired analysis of tissue obtained from different subcutaneous sites in the same donor showed that tissue harvested from the hip yielded 2.3-fold more CFU-F/unit volume and a 7-fold higher frequency of CFU-AP than that obtained from the abdomen. These differences were statistically significant.

DISCUSSION: Harvest site influences the stem and progenitor cell content of subcutaneous adipose tissue.

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