Adipose tissue is the final tissue to develop and is strongly involved in energy homeostasis. It can represent up to 50% of body weight in obesity. Beside its metabolic role, endocrine functions appeared to play a key role in interconnecting adipose tissue with other tissues of the organism and in numerous physiological functions. The presence of adipocyte progenitors has long been demonstrated throughout life in the stromal fraction of adipose tissue. Now, it appears that these cells are multipotent and share numerous features with mesenchymal stem cells (MSC) derived from bone marrow. They also display some specificities and a strong pro-angiogenic potential. Altogether, these data emphasize the need to reconsider the potential of adipose tissue. Moreover, since fat pads are easy to sample, numerous and promising perspectives are now opening up in regenerative medicine, particularly in ischemic situations.
Keywords: Adipose tissue, plasticity, cell therapy, stems cells, endothelial cells, mesenchymal cells
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