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Cytokine profile of human adipose-derived stem cells: Expression of angiogenic, hematopoietic, and pro-inflammatory factors§


  • Grant Support: This work was funded in part with support from the Pennington Biomedical Research Foundation (X.W., J.M.G.), the National Institute of Diabetes & Digestive & Kidney Diseases through the Clinical Nutrition Research Unit Center Grant (1 P30 DK072476 (G.E.K., J.M.G.) and R43 DK069127 (J.R., S.S., A.H., J.M.G.)), and the National Institute of Heart, Lung, and Blood (HL69103: R.W.S., Y.D.C.H., J.M.G.).

  • Gail E. Kilroy and Sandra J. Foster shared equally in the conduct of this study.

  • §

    Robert W. Storms and Jeffrey M. Gimble contributed equally to the design of this study.


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.

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