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Biochem Biophys Res Commun. 2006 Feb 10;340(2):639-47. Epub 2005 Dec 19.

In vitro cardiomyogenic potential of human umbilical vein-derived mesenchymal stem cells.

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  • 1Department of Biochemistry, Pasteur Institute of Iran, Tehran, Iran.


Cardiomyocyte loss in the ischemically injured human heart often leads to irreversible defects in cardiac function. Recently, cellular cardiomyoplasty with mesenchymal stem cells, which are multipotent cells with the ability to differentiate into specialized cells under appropriate stimuli, has emerged as a new approach for repairing damaged myocardium. In the present study, the potential of human umbilical cord-derived mesenchymal stem cells to differentiate into cells with characteristics of cardiomyocyte was investigated. Mesenchymal stem cells were isolated from endothelial/subendothelial layers of the human umbilical cords using a method similar to that of human umbilical vein endothelial cell isolation. Isolated cells were characterized by transdifferentiation ability to adipocytes and osteoblasts, and also with flow cytometry analysis. After treatment with 5-azacytidine, the human umbilical cord-derived mesenchymal stem cells were morphologically transformed into cardiomyocyte-like cells and expressed cardiac differentiation markers. During the differentiation, cells were monitored by a phase contrast microscope and their morphological changes were demonstrated. Immunostaining of the differentiated cells for sarcomeric myosin (MF20), desmin, cardiac troponin I, and sarcomeric alpha-actinin was positive. RT-PCR analysis showed that these differentiated cells express cardiac-specific genes. Transmission electron microscopy revealed a cardiomyocyte-like ultrastructure and typical sarcomers. These observations confirm that human umbilical cord-derived mesenchymal stem cells can be chemically transformed into cardiomyocytes and can be considered as a source of cells for cellular cardiomyoplasty.

[PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]
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