Supplementation of fat grafts with adipose-derived regenerative cells improves long-term graft retention

Ann Plast Surg. 2010 Feb;64(2):222-8. doi: 10.1097/SAP.0b013e31819ae05c.


Current practice of autologous fat transfer for soft tissue augmentation is limited by poor long-term graft retention. Adipose-derived regenerative cells (ADRCs) contain several types of stem and regenerative cells, which may help improve graft retention through multiple mechanisms. Using a murine fat transplantation model, ADRCs were added to transplanted fat to test whether ADRCs could improve the long-term retention of the grafts. This study showed, at both 6 and 9 months after transplantation, ADRCs not only increased graft retention by 2-fold but also improved the quality of the grafts. ADRC-supplemented grafts had a higher capillary density, indicating ADRCs could promote neovascularization. Further cell tracking and gene expression studies suggest ADRCs may promote angiogenesis and adipocyte differentiation and prevent apoptosis through the expression of various growth factors, including VEGFA and IGF-1. Taken together, these results suggest a potential clinical utility of ADRCs in facilitating autologous fat transfer for soft tissue augmentation.

MeSH terms

  • Adipocytes / cytology*
  • Adipocytes / physiology
  • Adipose Tissue / cytology
  • Adipose Tissue / transplantation*
  • Animals
  • Apoptosis / physiology
  • Cell Differentiation
  • Female
  • Immunohistochemistry
  • Ischemia / physiopathology
  • Mice
  • Mice, Inbred Strains
  • Models, Animal
  • Neovascularization, Physiologic / physiology*
  • Regeneration / physiology
  • Stem Cell Transplantation / methods*