A goal of regenerative medicine is to identify cardiovascular progenitors from human ES cells (hESCs) that can functionally integrate into the human heart. Previous studies to evaluate the developmental potential of candidate hESC-derived progenitors have delivered these cells into murine and porcine cardiac tissue, with inconclusive evidence regarding the capacity of these human cells to physiologically engraft in xenotransplantation assays. Further, the potential of hESC-derived cardiovascular lineage cells to functionally couple to human myocardium remains untested and unknown. Here, we have prospectively identified a population of hESC-derived ROR2(+)/CD13(+)/KDR(+)/PDGFRα(+) cells that give rise to cardiomyocytes, endothelial cells, and vascular smooth muscle cells in vitro at a clonal level. We observed rare clusters of ROR2(+) cells and diffuse expression of KDR and PDGFRα in first-trimester human fetal hearts. We then developed an in vivo transplantation model by transplanting second-trimester human fetal heart tissues s.c. into the ear pinna of a SCID mouse. ROR2(+)/CD13(+)/KDR(+)/PDGFRα(+) cells were delivered into these functioning fetal heart tissues: in contrast to traditional murine heart models for cell transplantation, we show structural and functional integration of hESC-derived cardiovascular progenitors into human heart.
"Although a striated pattern for α-actinin and myosin light chain is observed , the derived CMs lack organized sacromeres and t-tubules [45,46]. Cell surface marker signal regulatory protein-α and vascular cell adhesion molecule-1 as well as ROR2+/CD13+/KDR+/platelet-derived growth factor receptor-α+ cells derived from differentiating hESCs have been detected on CPs that form CMs [47-49], but no convenient chamber-specific surface markers have yet been identified for robust isolation of CM subtypes. Ultimately, identification of accessible chamber-specific surface markers, as opposed to the use of reporter genes, will be required for any eventual therapeutic application. "
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Heart diseases remain a major cause of mortality and morbidity worldwide. However, terminally differentiated human adult cardiomyocytes (CMs) possess a very limited innate ability to regenerate. Directed differentiation of human embryonic stem cells (hESCs) and induced pluripotent stem cells (iPSCs) into CMs has enabled clinicians and researchers to pursue the novel therapeutic paradigm of cell-based cardiac regeneration. In addition to tissue engineering and transplantation studies, the need for functional CMs has also prompted researchers to explore molecular pathways and develop strategies to improve the quality, purity and quantity of hESC-derived and iPSC-derived CMs. In this review, we describe various approaches in directed CM differentiation and driven maturation, and discuss potential limitations associated with hESCs and iPSCs, with an emphasis on the role of epigenetic regulation and chromatin remodeling, in the context of the potential and challenges of using hESC-CMs and iPSC-CMs for drug discovery and toxicity screening, disease modeling, and clinical applications.
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Induced pluripotent stem cells (iPSCs) hold great hopes for therapeutic application in various diseases. Although ongoing research is dedicated to achieving clinical translation of iPSCs, further understanding of the mechanisms that underlie complex pathogenic conditions is required. Compared with other classical models for studying diseases, iPSCs provide considerable advantages. A newly emerging application of iPSCs is in vitro disease modeling, which can significantly improve the never-ending search for new pharmacological cures. Here, we will discuss current efforts to create iPSC-dependent patient-specific disease models. Furthermore, we will review the use of iPSCs for development and testing of new therapeutic agents and the implications for high-throughput drug screening.
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: The pluripotent nature of human embryonic stem cells (hESCs) makes them convenient for deriving therapeutically relevant cells. Here we show using Wnt reporter hESC lines that the cells are heterogeneous with respect to endogenous Wnt signalling activity. Moreover, the level of Wnt signalling activity in individual cells correlates with differences in clonogenic potential and lineage-specific differentiation propensity. The addition of Wnt protein or, conversely, a small-molecule Wnt inhibitor (IWP2) reduces heterogeneity, allowing stable expansion of Wnt(high) or Wnt(low) hESC populations, respectively. On differentiation, the Wnt(high) hESCs predominantly form endodermal and cardiac cells, whereas the Wnt(low) hESCs generate primarily neuroectodermal cells. Thus, heterogeneity with respect to endogenous Wnt signalling underlies much of the inefficiency in directing hESCs towards specific cell types. The relatively uniform differentiation potential of the Wnt(high) and Wnt(low) hESCs leads to faster and more efficient derivation of targeted cell types from these populations.
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