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Abstract

Adipose tissue serves as a source of adipokines and cytokines with both local and systemic actions in health and disease. In this study, we examine the hypothesis that multipotent human adipose-derived stem cells (ASCs), capable of differentiating along the adipocyte, chondrocyte, and osteoblast pathways, contribute to adipose tissue-derived cytokine secretion. Following exposure to basic fibroblast growth factor (bFGF) or epidermal growth factor (EGF), the ASCs significantly increase their secretion of hepatocyte growth factor (HGF), a cytokine implicated in hematopoiesis, vasculogenesis, and mammary epithelial duct formation. Ascorbic acid synergizes with these inductive factors, further increasing HGF levels. Following exposure to lipopolysaccharide, ASCs increase their secretion of both hematopoietic (granulocyte/monocyte, granulocyte, and macrophage colony stimulating factors, interleukin 7) and proinflammatory (interleukins 6, 8, and 11, tumor necrosis factor α) cytokines based on ELISA and RT-PCR. In co-cultures established with umbilical cord blood-derived CD34+ cells, the ASCs support long-term hematopoiesis in vitro. Furthermore, in short-term 12-day co-cultures, the ASC maintain and expand the numbers of both myeloid and lymphoid progenitors. These observations are consistent with the functionality of the secreted cytokines and confirm recent reports by other laboratories concerning the hematopoietic supportive capability of ASCs. We conclude that the ASCs display cytokine secretory properties similar to those reported for bone marrow-derived mesenchymal stem cells (MSCs). J. Cell. Physiol. 212:702–709, 2007. © 2007 Wiley-Liss, Inc.