Prospective purification of perivascular presumptive mesenchymal stem cells from human adipose tissue: Process optimization and cell population metrics across a large cohort of diverse demographics

C. C. West, W. R. Hardy, I. R. Murray, Aaron James, M. Corselli, S. Pang, C. Black, S. E. Lobo, K. Sukhija, P. Liang, V. Lagishetty, D. C. Hay, K. L. March, K. Ting, C. Soo, B. Péault

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle


Background: Adipose tissue is an attractive source of mesenchymal stem cells (MSC) as it is largely dispensable and readily accessible through minimally invasive procedures such as liposuction. Until recently MSC could only be isolated in a process involving ex-vivo culture and their in-vivo identity, location and frequency remained elusive. We have documented that pericytes (CD45-, CD146+, and CD34-) and adventitial cells (CD45-, CD146-, CD34+) (collectively termed perivascular stem cells or PSC) represent native ancestors of the MSC, and can be prospectively purified using fluorescence activated cell sorting (FACS). In this study we describe an optimized protocol that aims to deliver pure, viable and consistent yields of PSC from adipose tissue. We analysed the frequency of PSC within adipose tissue, and the effect of patient and procedure based variables on this yield. Methods: Within this twin centre study we analysed the adipose tissue of n = 131 donors using flow cytometry to determine the frequency of PSC and correlate this with demographic and processing data such as age, sex, BMI and cold storage time of the tissue. Results: The mean number of stromal vascular fraction (SVF) cells from 100 ml of lipoaspirate was 34.4 million. Within the SVF, mean cell viability was 83 %, with 31.6 % of cells being haematopoietic (CD45+). Adventitial cells and pericytes represented 33.0 % and 8 % of SVF cells respectively. Therefore, a 200 ml lipoaspirate would theoretically yield 23.2 million viable prospectively purified PSC - sufficient for many reconstructive and regenerative applications. Minimal changes were observed in respect to age, sex and BMI suggesting universal potential application. Conclusions: Adipose tissue contains two anatomically and phenotypically discreet populations of MSC precursors - adventitial cells and pericytes - together referred to as perivascular stem cells (PSC). More than 9 million PSC per 100 ml of lipoaspirate can be rapidly purified to homogeneity using flow cytometry in clinically relevant numbers potentially circumventing the need for purification and expansion by culture prior to clinical use. The number and viability of PSC are minimally affected by patient age, sex, BMI or the storage time of the tissue, but the quality and consistency of yield can be significantly influenced by procedure based variables.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article number302
JournalStem Cell Research and Therapy
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - Mar 30 2016
Externally publishedYes



  • Adipose tissue
  • Adipose-derived stem cell
  • Cell sorting
  • Flow cytometry
  • Mesenchymal stem cells
  • Pericyte
  • Tunica adventitia

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Medicine (miscellaneous)
  • Molecular Medicine
  • Biochemistry, Genetics and Molecular Biology (miscellaneous)
  • Cell Biology

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