Adipose mesenchymal stem cells (MSCs) display a fibroblast-like morphology and lack the intercellular lipid droplets seen between adipocytes. Isolated adipose MSCs are typically expanded in monolayer culture and exhibit some degree of telomerase activity, which indicates that they have the capacity to self-renew and proliferate. Adipose MSCs can differentiate along multiple pathways in vitro, including adipocyte, chondrocyte, endothelial, epithelial, hematopoietic support, hepatocyte, neuronal, myogenic, and osteoblast lineages.
Current methods used for isolating adipose MSCs rely on collagenase digestion followed by centrifugal separation to isolate the stromal vascular fraction (SVF) from primary adipocytes. Enzymatic digestion of adipose- rich connective tissues such as fat, has been proposed as an alternative strategy for bone marrow-derived stroma cells (derived from iliac crest source), with authors reporting the liberation of 500-fold more MSCs per
gram of tissue.
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