Adipose tissue is recognized as an important organ with metabolic, regulatory, and plastic roles. Adipose tissue-derived stem cells (ASCs) with self-renewal properties localize in the stromal vascular fraction (SVF) being present in a vascular niche, thereby, contributing to local regulation of angiogenesis and vessel remodeling. In the past decades, ASCs have attracted much attention from biologists and bioengineers, particularly, because of their multilineage differentiation potential, strong proliferation, and migration abilities in vitro and high resistance to oxidative stress and senescence. Current data suggest that the SVF serves as an important source of endothelial progenitors, endothelial cells, and pericytes, thereby, contributing to vessel remodeling and growth. In addition, ASCs demonstrate intriguing metabolic and interlineage plasticity, which makes them good candidates for creating regenerative therapeutic protocols, in vitro tissue models and microphysiological systems, and tissue-on-chip devices for diagnostic and regeneration-supporting purposes. This review covers recent achievements in understanding the metabolic activity within the SVF niches (lactate and NAD+ metabolism), which is critical for maintaining the pool of ASCs, and discloses their pro-angiogenic potential, particularly, in the complex therapy of cardiovascular and cerebrovascular diseases.
Keywords: adipocyte; adipose tissue; angiogenesis; endothelial cells; stem cell; vasculature-on-chip.