(HealthDay News) — The facial skin regenerative effect of a fat graft appears to be, at least partly, due to its stem cell component, according to a study published in the April issue of Plastic and Reconstructive Surgery.

Luiz Charles-de-Sá, MD, from the University of Verona in Italy, and colleagues evaluated treatment with the autologous fat graft plus stromal vascular fraction or expanded mesenchymal stem cells in six consecutive patients who were candidates for face lift (ages 45–65 years). Fat was derived from liposuction from the abdominal region, while injection was performed in the preauricular areas. Three months before and after each treatment, fragments of skin were removed and analyzed by optical and electron microscopy.

The researchers found that after treatment with the autologous lipidic component and stromal vascular fraction, the skin showed a decrease in elastic fiber network (elastosis) as well as the appearance of new oxytalan elastic fibers in papillary dermis. There was a modified tridimensional architecture of the reticular dermis and the presence of a richer microvascular bed. Treatment with expanded mesenchymal stem cells showed similar results.

“This study demonstrates that treatment with either fat and stromal vascular fraction or expanded mesenchymal stem cells modifies the pattern of the dermis, representing a skin rejuvenation effect,” the authors write.

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