Background: Adipose tissue is an attractive source of cells for therapeutic purposes because of the ease of harvest and the high frequency of mesenchymal stem cells (MSCs). Whilst it is clear that MSCs have significant therapeutic potential via their ability to secrete immuno-modulatory and trophic cytokines, the therapeutic use of mixed cell populations from the adipose stromal vascular fraction (SVF) is becoming increasingly common.Methods: In this study we have measured a panel of 27 cytokines and growth factors secreted by various combinations of human adipose-derived cell populations. These were 1. co-culture of freshly isolated SVF with adipocytes, 2. freshly isolated SVF cultured alone, 3. freshly isolated adipocytes alone and 4. adherent adipose-derived mesenchymal stem cells (ADSCs) at passage 2. In addition, we produced an 'in silico' dataset by combining the individual secretion profiles obtained from culturing the SVF with that of the adipocytes. This was compared to the secretion profile of co-cultured SVF and adipocytes. Two-tailed t-tests were performed on the secretion profiles obtained from the SVF, adipocytes, ADSCs and the 'in silico' dataset and compared to the secretion profiles obtained from the co-culture of the SVF with adipocytes. A p-value of < 0.05 was considered statistically different. To assess the overall changes that may occur as a result of co-culture we compared the proteomes of SVF and SVF co-cultured with adipocytes using iTRAQ quantitative mass spectrometry.Results: A co-culture of SVF and adipocytes results in a distinct secretion profile when compared to all other adipose-derived cell populations studied. This illustrates that cellular crosstalk during co-culture of the SVF with adipocytes modulates the production of cytokines by one or more cell types. No biologically relevant differences were detected in the proteomes of SVF cultured alone or co-cultured with adipocytes.Conclusions: The use of mixed adipose cell populations does not appear to induce cellular stress and results in enhanced secretion profiles. Given the importance of secreted cytokines in cell therapy, the use of a mixed cell population such as the SVF with adipocytes may be considered as an alternative to MSCs or fresh SVF alone.