Published online Jan 26, 2020. doi: 10.4252/wjsc.v12.i1.1
Peer-review started: June 5, 2019
First decision: August 1,2019
Revised: October 11, 2019
Accepted: November 14, 2019
Article in press: November 14, 2019
Published online: January 26, 2020
This article presents the stem and progenitor cells from subcutaneous adipose tissue, briefly comparing them with their bone marrow counterparts, and discussing their potential for use in regenerative medicine. Subcutaneous adipose tissue differs from other mesenchymal stromal/stem cells (MSCs) sources in that it contains a pre-adipocyte population that dwells in the adventitia of robust blood vessels. Pre-adipocytes are present both in the stromal-vascular fraction (SVF; freshly isolated cells) and in the adherent fraction of adipose stromal/stem cells (ASCs; in vitro expanded cells), and have an active role on the chronic inflammation environment established in obesity, likely due their monocytic-macrophage lineage identity. The SVF and ASCs have been explored in cell therapy protocols with relative success, given their paracrine and immunomodulatory effects. Importantly, the widely explored multipotentiality of ASCs has direct application in bone, cartilage and adipose tissue engineering. The aim of this editorial is to reinforce the peculiarities of the stem and progenitor cells from subcutaneous adipose tissue, revealing the spheroids as a recently described biotechnological tool for cell therapy and tissue engineering. Innovative cell culture techniques, in particular 3D scaffold-free cultures such as spheroids, are now available to increase the potential for regeneration and differentiation of mesenchymal lineages. Spheroids are being explored not only as a model for cell differentiation, but also as powerful 3D cell culture tools to maintain the stemness and expand the regenerative and differentiation capacities of mesenchymal cell lineages.
Core tip: Adipose tissue, notably subcutaneous, has a population of CD34-positive progenitor cells functionally known as pre-adipocytes. The pre-adipocytes have molecular and functional identities with the monocytic-macrophagic lineage and are altered in metabolic diseases such as obesity. To what extent will new 3D tools in cell culture, such as spheroids, be able to overcome the limitations imposed by 2D monolayer culture and unravel dormant capabilities of adipose stromal/stem cells?