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Porcine adipose-derived stem cells from buccal fat pad and subcutaneous adipose tissue for future preclinical studies in oral surgery

Stefania Niada12, Lorena Maria Ferreira1, Elena Arrigoni1, Alessandro Addis3, Marino Campagnol3, Eugenio Broccaioli1 and Anna Teresa Brini12*

Author Affiliations

1 Dipartimento di Scienze Biomediche, Chirurgiche e Odontoiatriche, Università degli Studi di Milano, Via Vanvitelli, 32, 20129 Milan, Italy

2 IRCCS Istituto Ortopedico Galeazzi, Milan, Italy

3 CRABCC srl, Rivolta d’Adda, Cremona, Italy

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Stem Cell Research & Therapy 2013, 4:148  doi:10.1186/scrt359

See related commentary by Lopez,

Published: 11 December 2013



Adipose-derived stem cells (ASCs) are progenitor cells used in bone tissue engineering and regenerative medicine. Despite subcutaneous adipose tissue being more abundant, the buccal fat pad (BFP) is easily accessible for dentists and maxillofacial surgeons. For this reason, considering the need for preclinical study and the swine as an optimal animal model in tissue engineering applications, we compared the features of porcine ASCs (pASCs) from both tissue-harvesting sites.


ASCs were isolated from interscapular subcutaneous adipose tissue (ScI) and buccal fat pads of six swine. Cells were characterized for their stemness and multipotent features. Moreover, their osteogenic ability when cultured on titanium disks and silicon carbide-plasma-enhanced chemical vapor-deposition fragments, and their growth in the presence of autologous and heterologous serum were also assessed.


Independent of the harvesting site, no differences in proliferation, viability, and clonogenicity were observed among all the pASC populations. Furthermore, when induced toward osteogenic differentiation, both ScI- and BFP-pASCs showed an increase of collagen and calcified extracellular matrix (ECM) production, alkaline phosphatase activity, and osteonectin expression, indicating their ability to differentiate toward osteoblast-like cells. In addition, they differentiated toward adipocyte-like cells, and chondrogenic induced pASCs were able to increase glycosaminoglycans (GAGs) production over time. When cells were osteoinduced on synthetic biomaterials, they significantly increased the amount of calcified ECM compared with control cells; moreover, titanium showed the osteoinductive effect on pASCs, also without chemical stimuli. Finally, these cells grew nicely in 10% FBS, and no benefits were produced by substitution with swine serum.


Swine buccal fat pad contains progenitor cells with mesenchymal features, and they also osteo-differentiate nicely in association with synthetic supports. We suggest that porcine BFP-ASCs may be applied in preclinical studies of periodontal and bone-defect regeneration.