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43. Jahrestagung der Deutschen Gesellschaft der Plastischen, Rekonstruktiven und Ästhetischen Chirurgen e. V. (DGPRÄC), 17. Jahrestagung der Vereinigung der Deutschen Ästhetisch-Plastischen Chirurgen e. V. (VDÄPC)

13.09. - 15.09.2012, Bremen

Healing with Fat: the Therapeutic Power of Adipose Tissue-Derived Stem Cells (ADSC)

Meeting Abstract

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  • presenting/speaker M.C. Harmsen - University of Groningen, Cardiovascular Regenerative Medicine Research Group, Department of Pathology & Medical Biology, University Medical Centre Groningen, Groningen, Netherlands

Deutsche Gesellschaft der Plastischen, Rekonstruktiven und ─sthetischen Chirurgen. Vereinigung der Deutschen ─sthetisch-Plastischen Chirurgen. 43. Jahrestagung der Deutschen Gesellschaft der Plastischen, Rekonstruktiven und ─sthetischen Chirurgen (DGPR─C), 17. Jahrestagung der Vereinigung der Deutschen ─sthetisch-Plastischen Chirurgen (VD─PC). Bremen, 13.-15.09.2012. DŘsseldorf: German Medical Science GMS Publishing House; 2012. DocV05

doi: 10.3205/12dgpraec005, urn:nbn:de:0183-12dgpraec0053

Published: September 10, 2012

© 2012 Harmsen.
This is an Open Access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution License ( You are free: to Share – to copy, distribute and transmit the work, provided the original author and source are credited.



The adventitia of the vasculature of adipose tissue harbours mesenchymal stem cells with potent regenerative capacity, the so-called Adipose Tissue-derived Stem Cells (ADSC). In practice, ADSC are isolated as the plastic-adherent cells in the stromal vascular fraction of fat tissue. Their frequency is around 100x106 per litre of lipoaspirated fat. ADSC can differentiate into multiple lineages including fat, bone, cartilage, smooth muscle cells and pericytes. Yet, their main virtue resides in the secretion of a plethora of paracrine factors such as cytokines, chemokines, growth factors and non-proteinaceous factors that greatly augment healing of damaged tissues. Among others these factors are anti-inflammatory, pro-angiongenic and anti-apoptotic factors, factors that promote proliferation and furthermore factors that promote remodelling of extracellular matrix. ADSC have been successfully employed in various regenerative medicine-based strategies that range from tissue-engineering of bone and cartilage to cardiovascular repair.

Plastic surgeons have long noted that lipotransfers reduce local scars and rejuvenate skin. We hypothesized that the ADSC present in fat, have scar-reducing i.e.anti-fibrotic potential. Scars are predominantly produced by excessive matrix production by myofibroblasts in the skin. This process is mediated by the pro-fibrotic growth factor TGFb. We tested our hypothesis by subjecting differentiating (i.e. TGFb treated) human dermal fibroblasts (HDF) to conditioned culture media of ADSC (ADSCcm). We showed that ADSCcm not only suppressed the TGFb-driven differentiation of HDF, but that also their contractile activity was reduced significantly. Furthermore, ADSCcm reduced the production and secretion of extracellular matrix by HDF, while the secretion of active matrix remodelling enzymes (MMP1, 2, 3 and 9) was upregulated.

We conclude that ADSC may be suitable therapeutic cells to harness (hypertrophic) scarring.