The stromal vascular fraction (SVF) is a heterogeneous population obtained from collagenase digestion of adipose tissue. When cultured the population becomes more homogeneous and the cells are then termed adipose stromal/stem cells (ASCs). Both the freshly isolated primary SVF population and the cultured ASC population possess regenerative abilities suggested to be mediated by paracrine mechanisms mainly. The use of ASCs and SVF cells, both in animal studies and human clinical studies, has dramatically increased during recent years. However, more knowledge regarding optimal donor characteristics such as age is demanded. Here we report that even a short age difference has an impact on the phenotype of primary SVF cells. We observed that a 3-month difference in relatively young adult rats affects the expression pattern of several mesenchymal stem cell markers in their primary SVF. The younger animals had significantly more CD90+/CD44+/CD29+/PDGFRα+primary cells, than the aged rats, suggesting an age dependent shift in the relative cell type distribution within the population. Taken together with recent studies of much more pronounced age differences, our data strongly suggest that donor age is a very critical parameter that should be taken into account in future stem cell studies, especially when using primary cells.
- Journal Article