Cellular & Molecular Biology Letters

, Volume 16, Issue 2, pp 236–257 | Cite as

Stem cells from adipose tissue

  • Malgorzata Witkowska-ZimnyEmail author
  • Katarzyna Walenko


This is a review of the growing scientific interest in the developmental plasticity and therapeutic potential of stromal cells isolated from adipose tissue. Adipose-derived stem/stromal cells (ASCs) are multipotent somatic stem cells that are abundant in fat tissue. It has been shown that ASCs can differentiate into several lineages, including adipose cells, chondrocytes, osteoblasts, neuronal cells, endothelial cells, and cardiomyocytes. At the same time, adipose tissue can be harvested by a minimally invasive procedure, which makes it a promising source of adult stem cells. Therefore, it is believed that ASCs may become an alternative to the currently available adult stem cells (e.g. bone marrow stromal cells) for potential use in regenerative medicine. In this review, we present the basic information about the field of adipose-derived stem cells and their potential use in various applications.

Key words

Adult stem cells Adipose-derived stem cells/stromal cells Adipose tissue Regenerative medicine 

Abbreviations used


adipose-derived stem/stromal cells


brown adipose tissue


bone marrow mesenchymal stem cells


bone morphogenetic protein


embryonic stem


hepatocyte growth factor


hematopoietic stem cells


insulin growth factor




macrophage colony stimulating factor


mesenchymal stem cells


runt-related transcription factor 2


stromal-vascular cell fraction


transforming growth factor-β1


tumor necrosis factor α


white adipose tissue


vascular endothelial growth factor


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© © Versita Warsaw and Springer-Verlag Wien 2011

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Department of Biophysics and Human PhysiologyMedical University of WarsawWarsawPoland

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