Purpose of review: Adipose-derived stem cells (ASCs) are readily available from autologous adipose tissue and have been demonstrated to provide significant potential for tissue rescue from, or repair of, damage in multiple animal models. These include models of myocardial infarction, heart failure, hind limb ischemia, and inflammatory conditions. Early clinical studies have now extended testing of the effects of ASC into patients. This review highlights some of the key reports underlining the potential of ASCs, focusing particularly on diseases involving the cardiovascular system, vascular growth, and tissue repair.
Recent findings: Clinical applications of ASCs have begun to show early safety results and promising possibility of efficacy in patients with a range of diseases, including acute myocardial infarction, peripheral vascular disease, and soft and bony tissue defects including cranial bone loss, Crohn's-related fistula, and skin wounds. These effects are importantly based on the secretion of trophic and survival factors by these cells and by their participations in the growth and remodeling of blood vessels. These results suggest that ASCs could be a valuable therapeutic option in vascular growth and tissue repair in various clinical settings.
Summary: ASCs may ultimately represent a valuable therapeutic option in tissue rescue and repair based on their ready availability, proangiogenesis and antiapoptotic factor secretion, immunomodulatory effects, and capacity for multilineage differentiation and ready expansion.