Life Sciences, Endocrinology & Metabolomics; adipose derived stem cell (ASC); regenerative medicine; embryonic stem cell marker network
The stromal vascular cell fraction (SVF) of visceral and subcutaneous adipose tissue (VAT and SAT) has increasingly come into focus in stem cell research, since these compartments represent a rich source of multipotent adipose-derived stem cells (ASCs). ASCs exhibit a self- renewal potential and differentiation capacity. Our aim was to study the different expression of embryonic stem cell markers NANOG, SOX2 and OCT3/4 and to evaluate if there exists a hierarchal role in this network in ASCs derived from both SAT and VAT. ASCs were isolated from SAT and VAT biopsies of 72 consenting patients (23 men, 47 women; age 45 ± 10; BMI between 25 and 30 range) undergoing elective open-abdominal surgery. Sphere-forming capability was evaluated by plating cells in low adhesion plastic. Stem cell markers CD90 and CD105 were analyzed by flow cytometry and stem cell transcription factors NANOG, SOX2 and OCT3/4 were detected by immunoblotting and Real-Time PCR. NANOG, SOX2 and OCT3/4 interplay was explored by gene silencing. ASCs from VAT and SAT confirmed their mesenchymal stem cell (MSC) phenotype expressing the specific MSC markers CD90 and CD105 and NANOG, SOX2 and OCT3/4. NANOG silencing induced a significant OCT 3/4 (70% ± 0.05) and SOX2 (75% ± 0.03) down-regulation whereas SOX2 silencing did not affect NANOG gene expression. Adipose tissue is an important source of MSC, and siRNA experiments endorse a hierarchical role of NANOG in the complex transcription network that regulates pluripotency and plasticity.