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Stem Cells Int. 2011;2011:214203. doi: 10.4061/2011/214203. Epub 2011 Sep 6.

Embryonic stem cell-derived cardiomyocyte heterogeneity and the isolation of immature and committed cells for cardiac remodeling and regeneration.

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Molecular Cardiology and Stem Cell Unit, Laboratory of Cardiovascular Sciences, National Institute of Aging, NIH, Baltimore, MD 21224, USA.


Pluripotent stem cells represent one promising source for cell replacement therapy in heart, but differentiating embryonic stem cell-derived cardiomyocytes (ESC-CMs) are highly heterogeneous and show a variety of maturation states. In this study, we employed an ESC clonal line that contains a cardiac-restricted ncx1 promoter-driven puromycin resistance cassette together with a mass culture system to isolate ESC-CMs that display traits characteristic of very immature CMs. The cells display properties of proliferation, CM-restricted markers, reduced mitochondrial mass, and hypoxia-resistance. Following transplantation into rodent hearts, bioluminescence imaging revealed that immature cells, but not more mature CMs, survived for at least one month following injection. These data and comparisons with more mature cells lead us to conclude that immature hypoxia resistant ESC-CMs can be isolated in mass in vitro and, following injection into heart, form grafts that may mediate long-term recovery of global and regional myocardial contractile function following infarction.

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