Molecular Physiognomies and Applications of Adipose-Derived Stem Cells

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Stem Cell Reviews and Reports


Adipose-derived stromal/stem cells (ASC) are multipotent with abilities to differentiate into multiple lineages including connective tissue and neural cells. Despite unlimited opportunity and needs for human and veterinary regenerative medicine, applications of adipose-derived stromal/stem cells are at present very limited. Furthermore, the fundamental biological factors regulating stemness in ASC and their stable differentiation into other tissue cells are not fully understood. The objective of this review was to provide an update on the current knowledge of the nature and isolation, molecular and epigenetic determinants of the potency, and applications of adipose-derived stromal/stem cells, as well as challenges and future directions. The first quarter of the review focuses on the nature of ASC, namely their definition, origin, isolation and sorting methods and multilineage differentiation potential, often with a comparison to mesenchymal stem cells of bone marrow. Due to the indisputable role of epigenetic regulation on cell identities, epigenetic modifications (DNA methylation, chromatin remodeling and microRNAs) are described broadly in stem cells but with a focus on ASC. The final sections provide insights into the current and potential applications of ASC in human and veterinary regenerative medicine.

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