Advancements in adipose-derived stem cell therapy for skin fibrosis

Pathological scarring and scleroderma, which are the most common conditions of skin fibrosis, pathologically manifest as fibroblast proliferation and extracellular matrix (ECM) hyperplasia. Fibroblast proliferation and ECM hyperplasia lead to fibrotic tissue remodeling, causing an exaggerated and prolonged wound-healing response. The pathogenesis of these diseases has not been fully clarified and is unfortunately accompanied by exceptionally high medical needs and poor treatment effects. Currently, a promising and relatively low-cost treatment has emerged-adipose-derived stem cell (ASC) therapy as a branch of stem cell therapy, including ASCs and their derivatives-purified ASC, stromal vascular fraction, ASC-conditioned medium, ASC exosomes, etc., which are rich in sources and easy to obtain. ASCs have been widely used in therapeutic settings for patients, primarily for the defection of soft tissues, such as breast enhancement and facial contouring. In the field of skin regeneration, ASC therapy has become a hot research topic because it is beneficial for reversing skin fibrosis. The ability of ASCs to control profibrotic factors as well as anti-inflammatory and immunomodulatory actions will be discussed in this review, as well as their new applications in the treatment of skin fibrosis. Although the long-term effect of ASC therapy is still unclear, ASCs have emerged as one of the most promising systemic antifibrotic therapies under development.

Key Words: Adipose-derived stem cell, Cicatrix, hypertrophic, Keloid, Scleroderma, localized, Stromal vascular fraction, Exosomes

Core Tip: Pathological scarring and scleroderma are the most common conditions of skin fibrosis with high medical needs and poor therapeutic effects. Adipose-derived stem cell (ASC) therapy has emerged as a promising treatment for skin fibrosis. Here, we discuss the possible mechanism of skin fibrosis as well as the latest research about the mechanism of ASC therapy and its application in treating these conditions. ASC therapy provides a brand-new insight into the treatment of skin fibrosis.