The effect of age on osteogenic, adipogenic and proliferative potential of female adipose-derived stem cells

Min Zhu, Emil Kohan, James Bradley, Marc Hedrick, Prosper Benhaim, Patricia Zuk
Journal of Tissue Engineering and Regenerative Medicine 2009, 3 (4): 290-301
Human adipose tissue is an ideal source of autologous cells that is both plentiful and easily obtainable in large quantities through the simple surgical procedure of liposuction. The stromal vascular fraction of adipose tissue contains a stem cell population, adipose-derived stem cells (ASCs), capable of adipogenic, osteogenic, myogenic and chondrogenic differentiation. These cells have already been recognized to possess great therapeutic potential in tissue engineering and regeneration. In this study, we sought to determine the effect of donor age on the growth kinetics and differentiation potential of ASCs. For this, ASCs were isolated from liposuctioned adipose tissue obtained from female patients in the age range 20-58 years. Population doubling time was calculated over 2 weeks and differentiation potential was determined by assaying for adipogenesis and osteogenesis. ASCs obtained from older donors appeared to have a slower rate of proliferation, but this relationship was not significant. While adipogenic potential was unrelated to donor age, a distinct relationship between donor age and osteogenic potential was observed. The aetiology of this age-dependent change in osteogenic potential was not due to any changes in the number of precursors with osteogenic capacity in the adipose sample. These findings have important implications for emerging cell-based therapeutic strategies, such as tissue engineering, in addition to treatment of various metabolic bone disorders including osteoporosis.

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