Liposuction aspirates (primarily saline solution, blood, and adipose tissue fragments) separate into fatty and fluid portions. Cells isolated from the fatty portion are termed processed lipoaspirate (PLA) cells and contain adipose-derived adherent stromal cells (ASCs). Here we define cells isolated from the fluid portion of liposuction aspirates as liposuction aspirate fluid (LAF) cells. Stromal vascular fractions (SVF) were isolated separately from both portions and characterized under cultured and non-cultured conditions. A comparable number of LAF and PLA cells were freshly isolated, but fewer LAF cells were adherent. CD34+CD45− cells from fresh LAF isolates were expanded by adherent culture, suggesting that LAF cells contain ASCs. Although freshly isolated PLA and LAF cells have distinct cell surface marker profiles, adherent PLA and LAF cells have quite similar characteristics with regard to growth kinetics, morphology, capacity for differentiation, and surface marker profiles. After plating, both PLA and LAF cells showed significant increased expression of CD29, CD44, CD49d, CD73, CD90, CD105, and CD151 and decreased expression of CD31 and CD45. Multicolor FACS analysis revealed that SVF are composed of heterogeneous cell populations including blood-derived cells (CD45+), ASCs (CD31−CD34+CD45−CD90+CD105−CD146−), endothelial (progenitor) cells (CD31+CD34+CD45−CD90+CD105lowCD146+), pericytes (CD31−CD34−CD45−CD90+CD105−CD146+), and other cells. After plating, ASCs showed a dramatic increase in CD105 expression. Although some adherent ASCs lost CD34 expression with increasing culture time, our culture method maintained CD34 expression in ASCs for at least 10–20 weeks. These results suggest that liposuction-derived cells may be useful and valuable for cell-based therapies. J. Cell. Physiol. © 2006 Wiley-Liss, Inc.