Most preconditioning techniques before fat grafting require external manipulation. Since nutrition is the main factor maintaining the balance of lipogenesis and lipolysis, we hypothesized that fasting before undergoing autologous fat grafting may increase lipolysis and reduce adipocyte size, thereby improving the fat graft survival rate.
C57BL/6 mice were divided into 24 h starved or fed groups. Adipose tissue lipolysis, adipogenesis, and angiogenesis-related gene expression, in fat from both groups, were analyzed. The volume and weight of the grafted fat at 4–8 weeks postoperatively were measured using micro-computed tomography. Immunohistochemistry staining and mRNA expression analysis were also performed to evaluate the effect of fasting on fat graft survival.
Fasting decreased adipocyte size by inducing adipose tissue lipolysis. Adipogenesis-related genes were remarkably downregulated while lipolysis-related genes and angiogenesis inducer genes were significantly upregulated in the starved adipose tissue. The mice grafted with the fat from the 24 h starved group had approximately 20% larger volumes and considerably heavier weights than those from the fed group. Increased viable adipocytes and vessels, and reduced macrophages in the fat grafts obtained from the 24 h starved group were also observed.
Fasting for 24 h before harvesting fat increased the retention volume of fat graft by increasing angiogenesis via VEGF induction. Therefore, fasting would be a novel and reliable preconditioning strategy to improve graft survival in autologous fat grafting.
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