Plasticity of human adipose stem cells toward endothelial cells and cardiomyocytes

Nat Clin Pract Cardiovasc Med. 2006 Mar;3 Suppl 1:S33-7. doi: 10.1038/ncpcardio0444.


Recent preclinical and clinical studies have suggested that adult stem cells have the ability to promote the retention or restoration of cardiac function in acute and chronic ischemia. Published clinical studies have used autologous donor cells, including skeletal muscle myoblasts, cultured peripheral blood cells, or bone marrow cells. However, our research and that of others indicates that human adipose tissue is an alternative source of cells with potential for cardiac cell therapy. These findings include the presence of cells within adipose tissue that can differentiate into cells expressing a cardiomyocytic or endothelial phenotype, as well as angiogenic and antiapoptotic growth factors. This potential is supported by preclinical studies in large animals.

MeSH terms

  • Adipose Tissue / cytology*
  • Adipose Tissue / metabolism
  • Angiogenic Proteins / metabolism
  • Animals
  • Cell Differentiation
  • Cell Proliferation
  • Coronary Artery Disease / therapy*
  • Disease Models, Animal
  • Endothelial Cells / cytology*
  • Endothelial Cells / metabolism
  • Humans
  • Myocytes, Cardiac / cytology*
  • Stem Cell Transplantation
  • Stem Cells / cytology*
  • Stem Cells / metabolism
  • Swine


  • Angiogenic Proteins