Engineered adipose tissue could be used for the reconstruction or augmentation of soft tissues lost due to mastectomy or lumpectomy in plastic and reconstructive surgery. Preadipocytes are a feasible cell source for adipose tissue regeneration. However, the enhancement of the in vivo adipogenic conversion of preadipocytes remains a major task. In vitro, the adipogenic differentiation of preadipocytes prior to implantation might enhance the adipose tissue regeneration. In the present study, we investigated whether implantation of adipogenic-differentiated preadipocytes enhances the adipose tissue formation compared with implantation of undifferentiated preadipocytes. We also investigated whether basic fibroblast growth factor (bFGF) further enhances the adipose tissue formation mediated by the implantation of adipogenic-differentiated preadipocytes. A fibrin matrix containing human preadipocytes cultured in adipogenic differentiation-inducing conditions with (group 1) or without (group 2) bFGF was injected into the subcutaneous spaces of athymic mice. Fibrin matrices containing undifferentiated human preadipocytes with (group 3) or without (group 4) bFGF were also implanted. Six weeks after implantation, the implanted cells formed new tissues in all groups. Importantly, the implantation of adipogenic-differentiated preadipocytes resulted in more extensive adipogenesis than the implantation of undifferentiated preadipocytes, as evaluated by adipose tissue area and human adipocyte-specific gene expression in the newly formed tissues. In addition, bFGF enhanced neovascularization in the newly formed tissues and further enhanced the adipogenesis mediated by the adipogenic-differentiated preadipocytes. The present study demonstrates that the implantation of adipogenic-differentiated preadipocytes enhances adipose tissue regeneration, as compared with the implantation of undifferentiated preadipocytes, and that cell transplantation-mediated adipogenesis can be further enhanced by the delivery of bFGF. © 2006 Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.
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