Human adipose tissue possesses a unique population of pluripotent stem cells with nontumorigenic and low telomerase activities: potential implications in regenerative medicine.Stem Cells Dev 2014; 23(7):717-28SC
In this study, we demonstrate that a small population of pluripotent stem cells, termed adipose multilineage-differentiating stress-enduring (adipose-Muse) cells, exist in adult human adipose tissue and adipose-derived mesenchymal stem cells (adipose-MSCs). They can be identified as cells positive for both MSC markers (CD105 and CD90) and human pluripotent stem cell marker SSEA-3. They intrinsically retain lineage plasticity and the ability to self-renew. They spontaneously generate cells representative of all three germ layers from a single cell and successfully differentiate into targeted cells by cytokine induction. Cells other than adipose-Muse cells exist in adipose-MSCs, however, do not exhibit these properties and are unable to cross the boundaries from mesodermal to ectodermal or endodermal lineages even under cytokine inductions. Importantly, adipose-Muse cells demonstrate low telomerase activity and transplants do not promote teratogenesis in vivo. When compared with bone marrow (BM)- and dermal-Muse cells, adipose-Muse cells have the tendency to exhibit higher expression in mesodermal lineage markers, while BM- and dermal-Muse cells were generally higher in those of ectodermal and endodermal lineages. Adipose-Muse cells distinguish themselves as both easily obtainable and versatile in their capacity for differentiation, while low telomerase activity and lack of teratoma formation make these cells a practical cell source for potential stem cell therapies. Further, they will promote the effectiveness of currently performed adipose-MSC transplantation, particularly for ectodermal and endodermal tissues where transplanted cells need to differentiate across the lineage from mesodermal to ectodermal or endodermal in order to replenish lost cells for tissue repair.