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Fat Tissue May Be a Source of Valuable Blood Stem Cells, Study Says
Date:1/29/2010

utside of bone marrow, circulate between the marrow and the peripheral blood.

Previous research has found that adipose tissue contains many different types of adult stem cells. In this study, researchers hypothesized that the adipose tissue might be a valuable alternative source of HSPCs as an extramedullary tissue but questioned whether the tissue could provide a sufficient quantity of cells to be used for research and therapeutic purposes.

“We know that adipose tissue and bone marrow tissues share similar properties, so we suspected that valuable stem cells might be found in the adipose regions, offering a unique resource for stem cells that might be easier and less costly to extract,” said Dr. Koh.

Within the adipose tissue is a special cell population known as the stromal vascular fraction (SVF), which consists of other undefined stem cells as well as immune, endothelial (blood vessel lining), progenitor (undifferentiated or premature precursor cells), and stromal (connective tissue) cells. Cells in the SVF share similar properties to those in the bone marrow. Both contain a population of cells that have the ability to differentiate into several cell types. In addition, both adipose tissue and bone marrow offer similar environments for optimal stem cell growth and reproduction, including a smaller amount of circulating oxygen and specialized vascular systems as compared with other organs.

The research team characterized the HSPCs in the SVF of mouse adipose tissue with both in vitro and in vivo analyses. They studied the origin of the HSPCs to better predict their behavior and determine whether the quantity of cells could be increased by promoting more frequent HSPC movement between the bone marrow and peripheral blood using granulocyte colony-stimulating factor, or G-CSF, a growth hormone used to encourage development of stem cells. The team found that the more they could mobilize the HSPCs between the bone marrow
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