Bone marrow is a leading source of adult stem cells, which are increasingly used for research and therapeutic interventions, but extracting the cells is an arduous and often painful process. Now, researchers have found evidence that fat tissue, known as adipose tissue, may be a promising new source of valuable and easy-to-obtain regenerative cells called hematopoietic stem and progenitor cells (HSPCs), according to a study prepublished online in Blood, the official journal of the American Society of Hematology.
“It’s not outside the realm of possibility that a donor graft of adipose tissue-derived HSPCs might be able to partially replace the need for bone marrow transplantation within 10 years,” said lead study author Gou Young Koh, MD, PhD, of the Department of Biological Sciences, Korea Advanced Institute of Science and Technology (KAIST) in Daedeok Science Town, Daejeon, South Korea.
HSPCs are powerful cells that have the ability to regenerate and develop into many different kinds of cells. With advances in technologies and understanding of cell functions, HSPCs are now used to repair damaged tissue and are being studied for their potential to treat a vast array of chronic and degenerative conditions. HSPCs are found in high quantities in the bone marrow, but a certain portion known as extramedullary tissue, found outside of bone marrow, circulate between the marrow and the peripheral blood.
Previous research has found that adipose tissue contains many different types of adult stem cells. In this study, researchers hypothesized that the adipose tissue might be a valuable alternative source of HSPCs as an extramedullary tissue but questioned whether the tissue could provide a sufficient quantity of cells to be used for research and therapeutic purposes….