Author(s): Niemel SM, Miettinen S, Konttinen Y, Waris T, Kellomki M,
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Abstract Transplantation of autologous fat as pedicle or transposition flaps has been a classical method in plastic surgery for tissue reconstruction. The injection of fat for soft tissue reconstruction is also an old innovation. This approach has some significant drawbacks such as resorption of the fat transplant. To regenerate additional and self-regenerating adipose tissue for reconstructive purposes, a thorough understanding of adipose tissue (mesodermal stem cells, adipoblasts, pre-adipocytes, mature, lipid-synthesizing, and lipid-storing white or brown adipocytes) on cellular and molecular levels is required. Several transcription factors that play a central role in the control of adipogenesis have been identified. Among these are the CCAAT/enhancer binding protein gene family and peroxisome proliferator-activated receptor-gamma. Hormones and growth factors, such as insulin and insulin-like growth factor (IGF), transfer external signals to differentiating adipocytes. In an attempt to improve the quality of tissue-engineered fat by culture-expanded adipocytes, various pre-adipocyte and stem cell culture conditions and expansion methods have been developed. In the presence of fetal calf serum, spontaneous differentiation of pre-adipocytes into fat cell clusters occurs to some degree. This in vitro differentiation can be enhanced by addition of inducing agents such as dexamethasone, isobutylmethylxantine, and insulin into the culture medium. Recent work has shown the multipotency of pre-adipocytes, which are fibroblast-like precursors of adipocytes. With use of specific culture conditions, human adipose tissue-derived stem cells can be induced to express markers of adipocyte, osteoblast, and myocyte cell lineages. The multipotent characteristics of adipose tissue-derived stem cells, as well as their abundance and accessibility in the human body, make them a potential cell source for tissue engineering applications.
This article was published in J Craniofac Surg
and referenced in Journal of Diabetes & Metabolism