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Mol Cells. 2012 Aug;34(2):149-58. doi: 10.1007/s10059-012-0019-0. Epub 2012 Jul 25.

Liver cell line derived conditioned medium enhances myofibril organization of primary rat cardiomyocytes.

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Center for Biomedical Engineering, Department of Medicine, Brigham and Women's Hospital, Harvard Medical School, Cambridge, MA 02139, USA.


Cardiomyocytes are the fundamental cells of the heart and play an important role in engineering of tissue constructs for regenerative medicine and drug discovery. Therefore, the development of culture conditions that can be used to generate functional cardiomyocytes to form cardiac tissue may be of great interest. In this study, isolated neonatal rat cardiomyocytes were cultured with several culture conditions in vitro and characterized for cell proliferation, myofibril organization, and cardiac functionality by assessing cell morphology, immunocytochemical staining, and time-lapse confocal scanning microscopy. When cardiomyocytes were cultured in liver cell line derived conditioned medium without exogenous growth factors and cytokines, the cell proliferation increased, cell morphology was highly elongated, and subsequent myofibril organization was highly developed. These developed myofibril organization also showed high level of contractibility and synchronization, representing high functionality of cardiomyocytes. Interestingly, many of the known factors in hepatic conditioned medium, such as insulin-like growth factor II (IGFII), macrophage colony-stimulating factor (MCSF), leukemia inhibitory factor (LIF), did not show similar effects as the hepatic conditioned medium, suggesting the possibility of synergistic activity of the several soluble factors or the presence of unknown factors in hepatic conditioned medium. Finally, we demonstrated that our culture system could provide a potentially powerful tool for in vitro cardiac tissue organization and cardiac function study.

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