Mature adipocyte-derived dedifferentiated fat cells exhibit multilineage potential


  • T. Matsumoto and K. Kano contributed equally to this work.


When mature adipocytes are subjected to an in vitro dedifferentiation strategy referred to as ceiling culture, these mature adipocytes can revert to a more primitive phenotype and gain cell proliferative ability. We refer to these cells as dedifferentiated fat (DFAT) cells. In the present study, we examined the multilineage differentiation potential of DFAT cells. DFAT cells obtained from adipose tissues of 18 donors exhibited a fibroblast-like morphology and sustained high proliferative activity. Flow cytometric analysis revealed that DFAT cells comprised a highly homogeneous cell population compared with that of adipose-derived stem/stromal cells (ASCs), although the cell-surface antigen profile of DFAT cells was very similar to that of ASCs. DFAT cells lost expression of mature adipocytes marker genes but retained or gained expression of mesenchymal lineage-committed marker genes such as peroxisome proliferator-activated receptor gamma (PPARγ), RUNX2, and SOX9. In vitro differentiation analysis revealed that DFAT cells could differentiate into adipocytes, chondrocytes, and osteoblasts under appropriate culture conditions. DFAT cells also formed osteoid matrix when implanted subcutaneously into nude mice. In addition, clonally expanded porcine DFAT cells showed the ability to differentiate into multiple mesenchymal cell lineages. These results indicate that DFAT cells represent a type of multipotent progenitor cell. The accessibility and ease of culture of DFAT cells support their potential application for cell-based therapies. J. Cell. Physiol. 215: 210–222, 2008. © 2007 Wiley-Liss, Inc.