Lipid-free fibroblast-like cells, known as dedifferentiated fat (DFAT) cells, can be generated from mature adipocytes with a large single lipid droplet. DFAT cells can re-establish their active proliferation ability and can transdifferentiate into various cell types under appropriate culture conditions. The first objective of this study was to compare the multilineage differentiation potential of DFAT cells with that of adipose-derived stem cells (ASCs) on mesenchymal stem cells. We obtained DFAT cells and ASCs from inbred rats and found that rat DFAT cells possess higher osteogenic differentiation potential than rat ASCs. On the other hand, DFAT cells show similar adipogenic differentiation, and chondrogenic differentiation potential in comparison with ASCs. The second objective of this study was to assess the regenerative potential of DFAT cells combined with novel solid scaffolds composed of PLGA (Poly d, l-lactic-co-glycolic acid) on periodontal tissue, and to compare this with the regenerative potential of ASCs combined with PLGA scaffolds. Cultured DFAT cells and ASCs were seeded onto PLGA scaffolds (DFAT/PLGA and ASCs/PLGA) and transplanted into periodontal fenestration defects in rat mandible. Micro computed tomography analysis revealed a significantly higher amount of bone regeneration in the DFAT/PLGA group compared with that of ASCs/PLGA and PLGA-alone groups at 2, 3, and 5 weeks after transplantation. Similarly, histomorphometric analysis showed that DFAT/PLGA groups had significantly greater width of cementum, periodontal ligament and alveolar bone than ASCs/PLGA and PLGA-alone groups. In addition, transplanted fluorescent-labeled DFAT cells were observed in the periodontal ligament beside the newly formed bone and cementum. These findings suggest that DFAT cells have a greater potential for enhancing periodontal tissue regeneration than ASCs. Therefore, DFAT cells are a promising cell source for periodontium regeneration.
Keywords: PLGA scaffold; cell transplantation; dedifferentiated fat cells (DFAT cells); periodontal fenestration defect; periodontal tissue regeneration.