Background: The main problem faced with fat grafting is unpredictable resorption rates. Many substances have been reported to increase the survival of fat grafts. The aim of this study was to compare the effects of insulin, metoprolol, and deferoxamine on fat graft survival.

Methods: Inguinal fat pads of male Sprague-Dawley rats were harvested and split into four parts as grafts. The grafts were placed in subcutaneous pockets in four quadrants on the back area of the rats. The insulin and metoprolol group fat grafts were incubated in regular insulin and metoprolol solutions until they were placed. Deferoxamine and control group fat grafts were placed without incubation. After surgery, the control group fat grafts were injected with 10 doses of NaCl solution once every 3 days, and the deferoxamine group fat grafts were injected with 10 doses of deferoxamine solution once every 3 days. After a graft maturation period of 3 months, the grafts were harvested for weight measurements and histological and immunohistochemical evaluation.

Results: According to the rate of perilipin staining, the metoprolol group had 30% more mature viable adipocytes than the control and insulin group fat grafts (p < 0.05 and p < 0.01, respectively). CD31 activation rates were significantly higher in the deferoxamine and insulin group than in the metoprolol group (p < 0.05). CD34 staining rates did not differ between any groups (p > 0.05).

Conclusions: In this experimental study, we have shown that there was no significantly increased fat graft survival rate seen in any drug treatment group. Low survival rates of stem cells demonstrated that the adipogenesis period ended at 3 months. Treatment of fat grafts with the selective β1-blocker metoprolol resulted in good quality better graft take with more viable mature adipocytes. However, better viability of adipocytes did not result in increased weight of the fat graft. Studies aiming to compare the effects on fat graft survival of beta-blockers with long or short durations of action, different potencies, and different receptor selectivity may be designed in the future. In addition, further studies may be performed, in which immunohistochemical markers used to assess inflammation and fibrosis are added to the study after the completion of the fat graft maturation period at the end of the first year to test the permanence of the results.

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Keywords: Deferoxamine; Fat graft; Insulin; Metoprolol; Survival.

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