Cardiomyocytes, the workhorse cells that make up the beating heart, can now be made cheaply and abundantly in the laboratory.
A team of Wisconsin scientists describes a way to transform human stem cells — both embryonic and induced pluripotent stem cells — into the critical heart muscle cells by simple manipulation of one key developmental pathway. The technique promises a uniform, inexpensive and far more efficient alternative to the complex bath of serum or growth factors now used to nudge blank slate stem cells to become specialized heart cells.
“Our protocol is more efficient and robust,” explains Sean Palecek, the senior
A sophisticated imaging system, multi-isotope imaging mass spectrometry (MIMS), demonstrates cell division in the adult mammalian heart. Researchers were surprised to find that new heart muscle cells primarily arose from existing heart muscle cells, rather than stem cells.
Recent research has shown that there are new cells that develop in the heart, but how these cardiac cells are born and how frequently they are generated remains unclear.
In a study from Harvard-affiliated Brigham and Women’s Hospital (BWH), researchers used a novel method to identify the new heart cells and describe their origins.
The research was published today in Nature.
“The question about how
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In the near future, hearts that have just suffered a heart attack will be able to repair themselves, according to an incredible discovery of how to reeducate cardiac stem cells to repair damaged hearts. In fact, stem cells normally perform the delicate task of repairing cardiac muscle, but after a heart attack the cells no longer carry out this highly important self-repair.
Italian scholars at the ‘Sapienza’ University in Rome and the European Molecular Biology Laboratory (EMBL) in Monterotondo, have discovered why these cells stop functioning correctly, and now understand how to induce them to
Stanford cardiologist Joseph Wu, MD, PhD, and instructor Paul Burridge, PhD, have done something similar with stem cells. They’ve devised a way to create large numbers of heart muscle cells called cardiomyocytes from stem cells without using human or animal-derived products, which can vary in composition and concentration among batches. Their technique was published Sunday in Nature Methods. Wu, who is the director of the Stanford Cardiovascular Institute explained to me in an e-mail:
This technique solves an important hurdle for the use of iPS-derived heart cells. In order to fully realize the potential of these cells in drug screening
Dean Third used to look forward to weekends spent refereeing local football matches, and outings with his young family. But now even walking to the end of the road can leave him breathless and exhausted.
For the past four years, the father of four has suffered from dilated cardiomyopathy (DCM), a disease of the heart muscle which causes it to enlarge, affecting its ability to pump blood to the arteries.
The condition afflicts 12,000 people in the UK, and for most sufferers the cause is unknown. If uncontrolled it can be fatal, and patients must adhere strictly to a regime of