Mesenchymal stem cells have been isolated from various adult human tissues and are valuable for not only therapeutic applications but for the study of tissue homeostasis and disease progression. Subcutaneous adipose depots have been shown to contain large amounts of stem cells. There
is little information that has been reported to date describing the isolation and characterization of mesenchymal stem cells from visceral adipose tissue. In this study, we describe a mesenchymal stem cell population isolated from mediastinal adipose depots. The cells express CD44, CD105,
CD166, and CD90 and are negative for hematopoietic markers CD34, CD45, and HLA-DR. In addition, the cells have a multilineage potential, with the ability to differentiate into adipogenic, osteogenic, and chondrogenic cell types. The biological function of visceral adipose tissue remains largely
unknown and uncharacterized. However, the proximity of adipose tissue to the heart suggests a potential role in the pathogenesis of cardiovascular disease in obesity. In addition, with the ability of fat to regulate metabolic activity in humans, this novel stem cell source may be useful to
further study the mechanisms involved in metabolic disorders.
Division of Cardiothoracic Surgery, University of Utah, Salt Lake City, UT, USA
Publication date: March 1, 2013
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