Divergent modulation of adipose-derived stromal cell differentiation by TGF-beta1 based on species of derivation

Plast Reconstr Surg. 2010 Aug;126(2):412-425. doi: 10.1097/PRS.0b013e3181df64dc.


Background: Adipose-derived stromal cells hold promise for skeletal tissue engineering. However, various studies have observed that adipose-derived stromal cells differ significantly in their biology depending on species of derivation. In the following study, the authors sought to determine the species-specific response of adipose-derived stromal cells to recombinant TGF-beta1 (rTGF-beta1).

Methods: Adipose-derived stromal cells were derived from mouse and human sources. Recombinant TGF-beta1 was added to culture medium (2.5 to 10 ng/ml); proliferation and osteogenic and adipogenic differentiation were assessed by standardized parameters, including cell counting, alkaline phosphatase, alizarin red, oil red O staining, and quantitative real-time polymerase chain reaction.

Results: Recombinant TGF-beta1 was found to significantly repress cellular proliferation in both mouse and human adipose-derived stromal cells (p < 0.01). Recombinant TGF-beta1 was found to significantly repress osteogenic differentiation in mouse adipose-derived stromal cells. In contrast, osteogenic differentiation of human adipose-derived stromal cells proceeded unimpeded in either the presence or the absence of rTGF-beta1. Interestingly, rTGF-beta1 induced expression of a number of osteogenic genes in human adipose-derived stromal cells, including BMP2 and BMP4.

Conclusions: The authors' results further detail an important facet in which mouse and human adipose-derived stromal cells differ. Mouse adipose-derived stromal cell osteogenesis is completely inhibited by rTGF-beta1, whereas human adipose-derived stromal cell osteogenesis progresses in the presence of rTGF-beta1. These data highlight the importance of species of derivation in basic adipose-derived stromal cell biology. Future studies will examine in more detail the species-specific differences among adipose-derived stromal cell populations.

Publication types

  • Research Support, N.I.H., Extramural
  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Adipose Tissue / cytology*
  • Adipose Tissue / drug effects
  • Animals
  • Bone Morphogenetic Proteins / analysis
  • Bone Morphogenetic Proteins / metabolism*
  • Cell Differentiation / drug effects
  • Cell Differentiation / physiology*
  • Cell Proliferation / drug effects
  • Cells, Cultured
  • Culture Media, Conditioned
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Mice
  • Mice, Inbred Strains
  • Osteogenesis / drug effects
  • Osteogenesis / physiology
  • Polymerase Chain Reaction
  • Probability
  • RNA / analysis
  • Regeneration / physiology
  • Species Specificity
  • Stromal Cells / drug effects
  • Stromal Cells / physiology*
  • Tissue and Organ Harvesting
  • Transforming Growth Factor beta1 / pharmacology*
  • Transplantation, Autologous


  • Bone Morphogenetic Proteins
  • Culture Media, Conditioned
  • Transforming Growth Factor beta1
  • RNA