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J Cell Mol Med. 2010 May;14(5):1061-3. doi: 10.1111/j.1582-4934.2010.01074.x. Epub 2010 Apr 23.

Relationships between telocytes and cardiomyocytes during pre- and post-natal life.

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  • 1Department of Anatomy, Histology and Forensic Medicine, University of Florence, Florence, Italy.


Evidence has been given that the adult heart contains a specific population of stromal cells lying in close spatial relationship with cardiomyocytes and with cardiac stem cells in sub-epicardial cardiogenic niches. Recently termed 'telocytes' because of their long cytoplasmic processes embracing the parenchymal cells, these cells have been postulated to be involved in heart morphogenesis. In our opinion, investigating the occurrence and morphology of telocytes during heart histogenesis may shed further light on this issue. Our findings show that typical telocytes are present in the mouse heart by early embryonic to adult life. These cells closely embrace the growing cardiomyocytes with their long, slender cytoplasmic processes. Hence, in the developing myocardium, telocytes may play nursing and guiding roles for myocardial precursors to form the correct three-dimensional tissue architectural pattern, as previously suggested.

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