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Sep 16, 2015
Human adipose-derived stromal cells (hADSC) are a heterogeneous cell population that contains adult multipotent stem cells. Although it is well established that hADSC have skeletal potential in vivo in adult organisms, in vitro assays suggest further differentiation capacity, such as into glia. Thus, we propose that grafting hADSC into the embryo can provide them with a much more instructive microenvironment, allowing the human cells to adopt diverse fates or niches. Here, hADSC spheroids were grafted into either the presumptive presomitic mesoderm or the first branchial arch (BA1) regions of chick embryos. Cells were identified without previous manipulations via human-specific Alu probes, which allows efficient long-term tracing of heterogeneous primary cultures. When grafted into the trunk, in contrast to previous studies, hADSC were not found in chondrogenic or osteogenic territories up to E8. Surprisingly, 82.5% of the hADSC were associated with HNK1+ tissues, such as peripheral nerves. Human skin fibroblasts showed a smaller tropism for nerves. In line with other studies, hADSC also adopted perivascular locations. When grafted into the presumptive BA1, 74.6% of the cells were in the outflow tract, the final goal of cardiac neural crest cells, and were also associated with peripheral nerves. This is the first study showing that hADSC could adopt a perineural niche in vivo and were able to recognize cues for neural crest cell migration of the host. Therefore, we propose that xenografts of human cells into chick embryos can reveal novel behaviors of heterogeneous cell populations, such as response to migration cues. © 2015. Published by The Company of Biologists Ltd.