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Adult Stem Cells From Fat Could Be the Future of Anti-Aging Treatments

Feb 20, 2017 10:35 AM EST

A new study from the Perelman School of Medicine and University of Pennsylvania revealed that adult stem cells that were collected directly from human fats have the potential to be used in anti-aging treatments.

The study, published in the journal Stem Cells, showed that stem cells from fats are more stable than other cells and make more proteins than originally thought. Due to this, adipose-derived stem cells (ASCs) -- or the stem cells from fats -- have the ability to replicate while maintaining their stability.

"Our study shows these cells are very robust, even when they are collected from older patients," said Ivona Percec, MD, director of Basic Science Research in the Center for Human Appearance and lead author of the study, in a press release. "It also shows these cells can be potentially used safely in the future, because they require minimal manipulation and maintenance."

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For the study, the researchers first developed a new model to analyze the chronological aging of stem cells. As opposed to cells that have been artificially replicated multiple times or manipulated in a lab, chronological aging shows the natural life cycle of the cell. In order to observe the cells in chronological aging, the researchers developed a system to collect and store the stem cells without manipulating them.

The researchers found that stem cells collected directly from human fats were more stable than from different tissues, even the ones currently used in variety of anti-aging treatments. Additionally, the researchers discovered that the adipose-derived stem cells multiply at a consistent rate even with age. Due to this, ASCs can maintain their stability at all ages, which can pave way to new therapies that can prevent and treat aging-related diseases.

At present, ASCs is not yet approved by the Food and Drug Administration for direct use. The researchers noted that more researchers is needed to fully understand the potential of ASCs in anti-aging treatments.

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