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Am J Physiol Cell Physiol. 2010 Dec;299(6):C1234-49. doi: 10.1152/ajpcell.00402.2009. Epub 2010 Sep 15.

Differential gene expressions in atrial and ventricular myocytes: insights into the road of applying embryonic stem cell-derived cardiomyocytes for future therapies.

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  • 1Biochemistry Programme, School of Life Sciences, The Chinese University of Hong Kong, Hong Kong, China.

Abstract

Myocardial infarction has been the leading cause of morbidity and mortality in developed countries over the past few decades. The transplantation of cardiomyocytes offers a potential method of treatment. However, cardiomyocytes are in high demand and their supply is extremely limited. Embryonic stem cells (ESCs), which have been isolated from the inner cell mass of blastocysts, can self-renew and are pluripotent, meaning they have the ability to develop into any type of cell, including cardiomyocytes. This suggests that ESCs could be a good source of genuine cardiomyocytes for future therapeutic purposes. However, problems with the yield and purity of ESC-derived cardiomyocytes, among other hurdles for the therapeutic application of ESC-derived cardiomyocytes (e.g., potential immunorejection and tumor formation problems), need to be overcome before these cells can be used effectively for cell replacement therapy. ESC-derived cardiomyocytes consist of nodal, atrial, and ventricular cardiomyocytes. Specifically, for treatment of myocardial infarction, transplantation of a sufficient quantity of ventricular cardiomyocytes, rather than nodal or atrial cardiomyocytes, is preferred. Hence, it is important to find ways of increasing the yield and purity of specific types of cardiomyocytes. Atrial and ventricular cardiomyocytes have differential expression of genes (transcription factors, structural proteins, ion channels, etc.) and are functionally distinct. This paper presents a thorough review of differential gene expression in atrial and ventricular myocytes, their expression throughout development, and their regulation. An understanding of the molecular and functional differences between atrial and ventricular myocytes allows discussion of potential strategies for preferentially directing ESCs to differentiate into chamber-specific cells, or for fine tuning the ESC-derived cardiomyocytes into specific electrical and contractile phenotypes resembling chamber-specific cells.

PMID:
20844252
[PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]
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