The therapeutic effect of adipose-derived lipoaspirate cells in femoral head necrosis by improving angiogenesis

Weixin Zhang, Cheng Zheng, Tiefeng Yu, Houjian Zhang, Jiaxin Huang, Liyue Chen, Peijian Tong, Gehua Zhen

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Femoral head necrosis (FHN), one of the most popular joint diseases in the musculoskeletal system, is usually attributed to local ischemia of the femoral head. Thus, regenerating the vascularization capacity and restoring the local perfusion of the femoral head becomes an efficient therapeutic approach for FHN. We investigated the function of autologous lipoaspirate cells (LPCs) in regenerating circulation in FHN animal models and human subjects in this study. We also explored the mechanisms of why LPCs show a superior effect than that of the bone marrow-derived stem cells (BMSCs) in vascularization. Thirty-four FHN patients were recruited for the randomized clinical trial. Harris Hip Score (HHS) and digital subtraction arteriography (DSA) and interventional technique were used to compare the efficacy of LPCs treatment and vehicle therapy in improving femoral head circulation and hip joint function. Cellular mechanism that underlies the beneficial effect of LPCs in restoring blood supply and rescuing bone architecture was further explored using canine and mouse FHN animal models. We found that LPCs perfusion through the medial circumflex artery will promote the femoral head vascularization and bone structure significantly in both FHN patients and animal models. The HHS in LPCs treated patients was significantly improved relative to vehicle group. The levels of angiogenesis factor secreted by LPCs such as VEGF, FGF2, VEC, TGF-β, were significantly higher than that of BMSCs. As the result, LPCs showed a better effect in promoting the tube structure formation of human vascular endothelial cells (HUVEC) than that of BMSCs. Moreover, LPCs contains a unique CD44+CD34+CD31 population. The CD44+CD34+CD31 LPCs showed significantly higher angiogenesis potential as compared to that of BMSCs. Taken together, our results show that LPCs possess a superior vascularization capacity in both autonomous and paracrine manner, indicating that autologous LPCs perfusion via the medial circumflex artery is an effective therapy for FHN.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article number1014789
JournalFrontiers in Cell and Developmental Biology
StatePublished - Oct 18 2022


  • angiogenesis
  • femoral head necrosis
  • lipoaspirate
  • stem cell
  • theraputic

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Cell Biology
  • Developmental Biology


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