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ABSTRACT In this study, we characterized the electrophysiological benefits of engrafting human embryonic stem cell-derived cardiomyocytes (hESC-CMs) in a model of arrhythmogenic cardiac tissue. Using transforming growth factor-β treated monolayers of neonatal rat ventricular cells (NRVCs), which retain several key aspects of the healing infarct such as an excess of contractile myofibroblasts and slowed, heterogeneous conduction, we assessed the ability of hESC-CMs to improve conduction and prevent arrhythmias. Cells from beating embryoid bodies (hESC-CMs) can form functional monolayers which beat spontaneously and can be electrically stimulated, with mean action potential duration of 275 ± 36 ms and conduction velocity (CV) of 10.6 ± 4.2 cm/s (n = 3). These cells, or cells from non-beating embryoid bodies (hEBCs) were added to anisotropic, NRVC monolayers. Immunostaining demonstrated hESC-CM survival and engraftment, and dye transfer assays confirmed functional coupling between hESC-CMs and NRVCs. Conduction velocities significantly increased in anisotropic NRVC monolayers after engraftment of hESC-CMs (13.4 ± 0.9 cm/s, n = 35 vs. 30.1 ± 3.2 cm/s, n = 20 in the longitudinal direction and 4.3 ± 0.3 cm/s vs. 9.3 ± 0.9 cm/s in the transverse direction), but decreased to even lower values after engraftment of non-cardiac hEBCs (to 10.6 ± 1.3 cm/s and 3.1 ± 0.5 cm/s, n = 11, respectively). Furthermore, reentrant wave vulnerability in NRVC monolayers decreased by 20% after engraftment of hESC-CMs, but did not change with engraftment of hEBCs. Finally, the culture of hESC-CMs in transwell inserts, which prevents juxtacrine interactions, or engraftment with connexin43-silenced hESC-CMs provided no functional improvement to NRVC monolayers. These results demonstrate that hESC-CMs can reverse the slowing of conduction velocity, reduce the incidence of reentry, and augment impaired electrical propagation via gap junction coupling to host cardiomyocytes in this arrhythmogenic in vitro model.
Full-textDOI: · Available from: Paul Burridge, Aug 30, 2015
- Journal of Molecular and Cellular Cardiology 04/2012; 53(1):3-5. DOI:10.1016/j.yjmcc.2012.04.002 · 5.22 Impact Factor
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ABSTRACT: Human embryonic stem cells have emerged as the prototypical source from which cardiomyocytes can be derived for use in drug discovery and cell therapy. However, such applications require that these cardiomyocytes (hESC-CMs) faithfully recapitulate the physiology of adult cells, especially in relation to their electrophysiological and contractile function. We review what is known about the electrophysiology of hESC-CMs in terms of beating rate, action potential characteristics, ionic currents, and cellular coupling as well as their contractility in terms of calcium cycling and contraction. We also discuss the heterogeneity in cellular phenotypes that arises from variability in cardiac differentiation, maturation, and culture conditions, and summarize present strategies that have been implemented to reduce this heterogeneity. Finally, we present original electrophysiological data from optical maps of hESC-CM clusters.Progress in Biophysics and Molecular Biology 08/2012; 110(2-3). DOI:10.1016/j.pbiomolbio.2012.07.012 · 3.38 Impact Factor
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ABSTRACT: Background: Stem cell therapy has been proposed as a potential treatment strategy for ischemic cardiomyopathy in recent years. A variety of stem cells or stem cell-derived cells can potentially be used for transplantation. Despite improved cardiac function after treatment, one of the major problems is the poor integration between host and donor cells which can lead to post-transplantation arrhythmia and poor long-term outcome. Methods: In the present study, we cocultured murine embryonic stem cells (mES) with murine embryonic ventricular myocytes (mEVs) in hanging drops to assess the cellular interaction and function of mES-derived cardiomyocytes under these conditions. Results: We found that when mEVs are added to a culture system of embryonic stem cells, the number of spontaneously beating areas in embryoid bodies (EBs) increases, intercellular gap junction communication is enhanced by upregulation of Cx43 expression at the mid-developmental stage and Cx43 is distributed more orderly between cardiomyocytes. Conclusions: Our findings suggest mES-derived cardiomyocytes are able to form effective signaling pathways through coculture with mEVs which is important for providing more functional grafts for cardiac cell therapy by improving the integration between transplanted and host cells.Cellular Physiology and Biochemistry 07/2013; 32(1):53-63. DOI:10.1159/000350124 · 3.55 Impact Factor