Evidence supporting antioxidant action of adipose-derived stem cells: protection of human dermal fibroblasts from oxidative stress

J Dermatol Sci. 2008 Feb;49(2):133-42. doi: 10.1016/j.jdermsci.2007.08.004. Epub 2007 Sep 17.


Background: Mesenchymal stem cells within the stromal-vascular fraction of subcutaneous adipose tissue, adipose-derived stem cells (ADSCs), produced soluble factors and they exhibit diverse pharmacological effects in skin biology.

Objective: The present study examines the protective effect of ADSCs for human dermal fibroblasts (HDFs) through anti-oxidation in a tert-butyl hydroperoxide (tbOOH) induced oxidative injury model.

Methods and results: The conditioned medium of ADSCs (ADSC-CM) was harvested and tested for antioxidant action. ADSC-CM had an antioxidant effect as potent as 100 microM ascorbic acid and various antioxidant proteins were detected in ADSC-CM by proteomic analysis. Morphological change and cell survival assay revealed that incubation with ADSC-CM aided HDFs to resist free radicals induced by tbOOH. In addition, activities of superoxide dismutase and glutathione peroxidase were enhanced in the ADSC-CM treated HDFs which confirmed the study hypothesis that ADSCs protect HDFs through antioxidant action. In a cell cycle analysis, ADSC-CM treatment reversed the apoptotic cell death induced by tbOOH and caused a decrease of sub-G1 cells with respect to untreated cells. The anti-apoptotic effect of ADSC-CM was also reproduced by caspase-3 activity assay.

Conclusion: These results suggest that ADSCs have potent antioxidant activity and protect HDFs from oxidative injury by decreasing apoptotic cells. Therefore, ADSCs and ADSC-CM are good candidates for control and prevention of skin damage from free radicals in various skin conditions.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Antioxidants / metabolism*
  • Antioxidants / pharmacology
  • Ascorbic Acid / pharmacology
  • Cell Shape
  • Cell Survival
  • Cells, Cultured
  • Culture Media, Conditioned / metabolism
  • Dermis / drug effects
  • Dermis / enzymology
  • Dermis / metabolism*
  • Dermis / pathology
  • Dose-Response Relationship, Drug
  • Fibroblasts / drug effects
  • Fibroblasts / enzymology
  • Fibroblasts / metabolism*
  • Fibroblasts / pathology
  • Glutathione Peroxidase
  • Humans
  • Mesenchymal Stem Cells / metabolism*
  • Oxidants / pharmacology
  • Oxidative Stress* / drug effects
  • Paracrine Communication*
  • Phenotype
  • Proteomics
  • Subcutaneous Fat / metabolism*
  • Superoxide Dismutase
  • tert-Butylhydroperoxide / pharmacology


  • Antioxidants
  • Culture Media, Conditioned
  • Oxidants
  • tert-Butylhydroperoxide
  • Glutathione Peroxidase
  • Superoxide Dismutase
  • Ascorbic Acid