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Adipose-derived cellular therapies in solid organ and vascularized-composite allotransplantation

Stivers, Katlin B.a,b; Beare, Jason E.a; Chilton, Paula M.c; Williams, Stuart K.a; Kaufman, Christina L.c; Hoying, James B.a,b

Current Opinion in Organ Transplantation: October 2017 - Volume 22 - Issue 5 - p 490–498
doi: 10.1097/MOT.0000000000000452

Purpose of review Controlling acute allograft rejection following vascularized composite allotransplantation requires strict adherence to courses of systemic immunosuppression. Discovering new methods to modulate the alloreactive immune response is essential for widespread application of vascularized composite allotransplantation. Here, we discuss how adipose-derived cellular therapies represent novel treatment options for immune modulation and tolerance induction in vascularized composite allotransplantation.

Recent findings Adipose-derived mesenchymal stromal cells are cultured from autologous or allogeneic adipose tissue and possess immunomodulatory qualities capable of prolonging allograft survival in animal models of vascularized composite allotransplantation. Similar immunosuppressive and immunomodulatory effects have been observed with noncultured adipose stromal-vascular-fraction-derived therapies, albeit publication of in-vivo stromal vascular fraction cell modulation in transplantation models is lacking. However, both stromal vascular fraction and adipose derived mesenchymal stem cell therapies have the potential to effectively modulate acute allograft rejection via recruitment and induction of regulatory immune cells.

Summary To date, most reports focus on adipose derived mesenchymal stem cells for immune modulation in transplantation despite their phenotypic plasticity and reliance upon culture expansion. Along with the capacity for immune modulation, the supplemental wound healing and vasculogenic properties of stromal vascular fraction, which are not shared by adipose derived mesenchymal stem cells, hint at the profound therapeutic impact stromal vascular fraction-derived treatments could have on controlling acute allograft rejection and tolerance induction in vascularized composite allotransplantation. Ongoing projects in the next few years will help design the best applications of these well tolerated and effective treatments that should reduce the risk/benefit ratio and allow more patients access to vascularized composite allotransplantation therapy.

aCardiovascular Innovation Institute

bDepartment of Microbiology & Immunology, University of Louisville

cChristine M. Kleinert Institute for Hand and Microsurgery, Louisville, Kentucky, USA

Correspondence to James B. Hoying, PhD, Cardiovascular Innovation Institute, University of Louisville, Louisville, KY 40202, USA. E-mail:

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