Article

Electrostimulation induces cardiomyocyte predifferentiation of fibroblasts

Cardiac Regeneration Laboratories, Heart, Lung, and Esophageal Surgery Institute, University of Pittsburgh Medical Center and McGowan Institute for Regenerative Medicine, 3025 Carson Street, Pittsburgh, PA 15203, USA.
Biochemical and Biophysical Research Communications (Impact Factor: 2.28). 07/2008; 370(3):450-5. DOI: 10.1016/j.bbrc.2008.03.115
Source: PubMed

ABSTRACT Stem-cell therapy has become a promising therapeutic tool for myocardial repair. Cardiac pre-committed cells, which complete their differentiation in the myocardium, may reduce fibrosis and restore muscle function. However, many questions concerning a precise, functional integration of injected cells remain unanswered. Fibroblasts regulate the cardiac extracellular matrix and are the most abundant cell population in an infarcted area. Electrostimulation is a well-known trophic factor and can induce phenotypic changes in myoblasts. The objective of this study was to evaluate the effectiveness of electrical stimulation to induce pre-commitment of fibroblasts into cardiomyocytes in vitro. Using short-time electrostimulation in a cytokine-free culture system, we induced pre-commitment of two fibroblast cell lines to a cardiomyocyte phenotype. This partial differentiation in vitro may facilitate further differentiation within the cardiac environment and result in better electro-mechanical integration of the therapeutically introduced cells.

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