3D collagen microfibers stimulate the functionality of preadipocytes and maintain the phenotype of mature adipocytes for long term cultures.


Osaka University, Joint Research Laboratory (TOPPAN) for Advanced Cell Regulatory Chemistry, Graduate School of Engineering, Japan; Division of Applied Chemistry, Graduate School of Engineering, Osaka University, Japan; JST, PRESTO, Japan. Electronic address: [Email]


Although adipose tissue is one of the most abundant tissues of the human body, its reconstruction remains a competitive challenge. The conventional in vitro two or three-dimensional (2D or 3D) models of mature adipocytes unfortunately lead to their quick dedifferentiation after one week, and complete differentiation of adipose derived stem cells (ADSC) usually requires more than one month. In this context, we developed biomimetic 3D adipose tissues with high density collagen by mixing type I collagen microfibers with primary mouse mature adipocytes or human ADSC in transwells. These 3D-tissues ensured a better long-term maintained phenotype of unilocular mature adipocytes, compared to 2D, with a viability of 96 ± 2% at day 14 and a good perilipin immunostaining, - the protein necessary for stabilizing the fat vesicles. For comparison, in 2D culture, mature adipocytes released their fat until splitting their single adipose vesicle into several ones with significantly 4 times smaller size. Concerning ADSC, the adipogenic genes expression in 3D-tissues was found at least doubled throughout the differentiation (over 8 times higher for GLUT4 at day 21), along with it, almost 4 times larger fat vesicles were observed (10 ± 4 µm at day 14). Perilipin immunostaining and leptin secretion, the satiety protein, attested the significantly doubled better functionality of ADSC in 3D adipose tissues. These obtained long-term maintained phenotype and fast adipogenesis make this model relevant for either cosmetic/pharmaceutical assays or plastic surgery purposes. STATEMENT OF SIGNIFICANCE: Adipose tissue has important roles in our organism, providing energy from its lipids storage and secreting many vital proteins. However, its reconstruction in a functional in vitro adipose tissue is still a challenge. Mature adipocytes directly extracted from surgery liposuctions quickly lose their lipids after a week in vitro and the use of differentiated adipose stem cells is too time-consuming. We developed a new artificial fat tissue using collagen microfibers. These tissues allowed the maintenance of viable big unilocular mature adipocytes up to two weeks and the faster adipogenic differentiation of adipose stem cells. Moreover, the adipose functionality confirmed by perilipin and leptin assessments makes this model suitable for further applications in cosmetic/pharmaceutical drug assays or for tissue reconstruction.


Adipose tissue reconstruction,Biomimetic,Collagen microfibers,Long-term culture,