Neuron-like differentiation of adipose-derived stem cells from infant piglets in vitro

Tingting Huang, Dansha He, Gary Kleiner, John Kuluz

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

92 Scopus citations


Background/Objective: Adipose-derived stem cells (ADSCs) are mesenchymal stem cells (MSCs) that can be extracted from adipose tissue and obtained by a less invasive method and in larger quantities compared with bone marrow-derived MSCs. The objective of this study was to harvest ADSCs from piglets and to explore their neuronal differentiation potential. Methods: Adipose tissue from piglet facial or abdominal fat was digested with collagenase type XI, followed by filter and centrifugation; the isolated adipose stromal cells were cultured in dishes. MSC markers were measured by flow cytometry; 2 to 5 passage cells were used for in vitro differentiation. Adipogenic, chondrogenic, osteogenic, and neuronal differentiation was induced by incubation of the ADSCs with different induction media. Results: ADSCs were easily expanded to beyond 15 passages, maintaining the undifferentiated state and exhibiting MSC characteristics and markers CD29, CD44, and CD90. ADSCs differentiated into other mesodermal cells including adipocytes, chondrocytes, and osteocytes. These cells were induced to differentiate into neuron-like cells as evidenced by neuronal morphology and the presence of neuronal markers including microtubule-associated protein 2, neuronal nuclear antigen, and β-tubulin III. Conclusions: ADSCs can be readily obtained from a small amount fat tissue and expanded in culture. Adipose tissue may be an alternative source of stem cell therapy for nervous system injury.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)S35-S40
JournalJournal of Spinal Cord Medicine
Issue numberSUPPL. 1
StatePublished - 2007


  • Adipose tissue
  • Mesenchymal stem cell
  • Neuronal differentiation

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Clinical Neurology


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