Foetal and adult cardiomyocyte progenitor cells have different developmental potential.
ABSTRACT: In the past years, cardiovascular progenitor cells have been isolated from the human heart and characterized. Up to date, no studies have been reported in which the developmental potential of foetal and adult cardiovascular progenitors was tested simultaneously. However, intrinsic differences will likely affect interpretations regarding progenitor cell potential and application for regenerative medicine. Here we report a direct comparison between human foetal and adult heart-derived cardiomyocyte progenitor cells (CMPCs). We show that foetal and adult CMPCs have distinct preferences to differentiate into mesodermal lineages. Under pro-angiogenic conditions, foetal CMPCs form more endothelial but less smooth muscle cells than adult CMPCs. Foetal CMPCs can also develop towards adipocytes, whereas neither foetal nor adult CMPCs show significant osteogenic differentiation. Interestingly, although both cell types differentiate into heart muscle cells, adult CMPCs give rise to electrophysiologically more mature cardiomyocytes than foetal CMPCs. Taken together, foetal CMPCs are suitable for molecular cell biology and developmental studies. The potential of adult CMPCs to form mature cardiomyocytes and smooth muscle cells may be essential for cardiac repair after transplantation into the injured heart.
Project description:Several studies have reported reprogramming of fibroblasts into induced cardiomyocytes; however, reprogramming into proliferative induced cardiac progenitor cells (iCPCs) remains to be accomplished. Here we report that a combination of 11 or 5 cardiac factors along with canonical Wnt and JAK/STAT signaling reprogrammed adult mouse cardiac, lung, and tail tip fibroblasts into iCPCs. The iCPCs were cardiac mesoderm-restricted progenitors that could be expanded extensively while maintaining multipotency to differentiate into cardiomyocytes, smooth muscle cells, and endothelial cells in vitro. Moreover, iCPCs injected into the cardiac crescent of mouse embryos differentiated into cardiomyocytes. iCPCs transplanted into the post-myocardial infarction mouse heart improved survival and differentiated into cardiomyocytes, smooth muscle cells, and endothelial cells. Lineage reprogramming of adult somatic cells into iCPCs provides a scalable cell source for drug discovery, disease modeling, and cardiac regenerative therapy.
Project description:ABSTRACT Aims Forced differentiation of non-muscle cells into heart muscle cells using cardiac transcription factors (cTFs) may constitute a novel strategy to accomplish myocardial regeneration. Methods We investigated the potential of the cTF myocardin to induce cardiomyocyte differentiation and compared the myocardin-induced gene expression program to that of fully differentiated cardiomyocytes using oligonucleotide microarray hybridizations, quantitative RT-PCR analyses and immunofluorescence microscopy. The experiments were performed in the recently described human cardiomyocytes progenitor cells (hCMPCs), which differentiate into fully functional cardiomyocytes upon stimulation with 5-azacytidine and transforming growth factor β1. Results and Conclusions Forced myocardin expression stimulated transcription of a surprisingly large repertoire of heart muscle-specific genes in hCMPCs but did not cause their differentiation into functional cardiomyocytes. Specifically, myocardin gene transfer did not stimulate the synthesis of several sarcomeric (regulatory) proteins and ion channel constituents. The heart and smooth muscle-enriched isoforms of myocardin stimulate equally well the transcription of many of their cardiomyocyte-specific and virtually all of their smooth muscle target genes. However, the heart muscle-enriched myocardin species is a much more potent transactivator of a subset of genes encoding mainly cardiomyocyte-specific myofibrillar components. This may explain the underestimation of myocardin's cardiomyogenic potential in previous studies utilizing the smooth muscle-enriched isoform of this cTF. Overall design: Experiment performed on primary cells in culture, the cardiomyocyte progenitor cells (CMPCs), ScaI+ cells isolated from human fetal heart. Cells tranduced with third gen lentivirus vectors, to allow stable overexpression of: 1.) CM-MYOCD cardiomyocyte specific isoform of human myocardin. n=4 2.) SM-MYOCD smooth muscle specific isoform of human myocardin (major open reading frame only). n=3 3.) SM-MYOCD smooth muscle specific isoform of human myocardin (both open reading frames). n=3 4.) LacZ transduction/vector/overexpression control. n=3 5.) untransduced. n=3 13 days post transduction, total RNA harvested for array.
Project description:During embryogenesis, the mammalian heart develops from a primitive heart tube originating from two bilateral primary heart fields located in the lateral plate mesoderm. Cells belongings to the pre-cardiac mesoderm will differentiate into early cardiac progenitors, which express early transcription factors which are also common to the Isl-1 positive cardiac progenitor cells isolated from the developing pharyngeal mesoderm and the foetal and post-natal mice hearts. A second population of cardiac progenitor cells positive to c-Kit has been abundantly isolated from adult hearts. Until now, these two populations have been considered two different sets of progenitor cells present in the heart in different stages of an individual life. In the present study we collected embryonic, foetal and infant hearts, and we tested the hypotheses that c-Kit positive cells, usually isolated from the adult heart, are also present in the intra-uterine life and persist in the adult heart after birth, and that foetal Isl-1 positive cells are also positive to c-Kit. Using immunohistochemistry we studied the temporal distribution of Isl-1 positive and c-Kit/CD105 double positive cells, and by immunofluorescence and confocal analysis we studied the co-localization of c-Kit and Isl-1 positive cells. The results indicated that cardiomyocytes and interstitial cells were positive for c-Kit from the 9th to the 19th gestational week, that cells positive for both c-Kit and CD105 appeared in the interstitium at the 17th gestational week and persisted in the postnatal age, and that the Isl-1 positive cells were a subset of the c-Kit positive population.
Project description:microRNAs (miRNAs) play essential roles in cardiogenesis. The altered expression of miRNAs can result in cardiac malformations by inducing abnormalities in the behavior of cardiac cells. However, the role of miR-10a in the regulation of cardiomyocyte progenitor cells (CMPCs) remains undetermined. In the present study, we found that up- or down-regulation of miR-10a inhibited or promoted the proliferation of human CMPCs, respectively, without affecting their differentiation toward cardiomyocytes. miR-10a bound to GATA6 directly and reduced GATA6 expression. Over-expression of GATA6 greatly attenuated the miR-10a-mediated inhibitory effect on the proliferation of human CMPCs. Thus, our results indicate that miR-10a could effectively modulate the proliferation of human CMPCs by targeting GATA6. The finding provides novel insights into the potency of miR-10a during heart development.
Project description:Directed differentiation of embryonic stem cells indicates that mesodermal lineages in the mammalian heart (cardiac, endothelial, and smooth muscle cells) develop from a common, multipotent cardiovascular precursor. To isolate and characterize the lineage potential of a resident pool of cardiovascular progenitor cells (CPcs), we developed BAC transgenic mice in which enhanced green fluorescent protein (EGFP) is placed under control of the c-kit locus (c-kit(BAC)-EGFP mice). Discrete c-kit-EGFP(+) cells were observed at different stages of differentiation in embryonic hearts, increasing in number to a maximum at about postnatal day (PN) 2; thereafter, EGFP(+) cells declined and were rarely observed in the adult heart. EGFP(+) cells purified from PN 0-5 hearts were nestin(+) and expanded in culture; 67% of cells were fluorescent after 9 days. Purified cells differentiated into endothelial, cardiac, and smooth muscle cells, and differentiation could be directed by specific growth factors. CPc-derived cardiac myocytes displayed rhythmic beating and action potentials characteristic of multiple cardiac cell types, similar to ES cell-derived cardiomyocytes. Single-cell dilution studies confirmed the potential of individual CPcs to form all 3 cardiovascular lineages. In adult hearts, cryoablation resulted in c-kit-EGFP(+) expression, peaking 7 days postcryolesion. Expression occurred in endothelial and smooth muscle cells in the revascularizing infarct, and in terminally differentiated cardiomyocytes in the border zone surrounding the infarct. Thus, c-kit expression marks CPc in the neonatal heart that are capable of directed differentiation in vitro; however, c-kit expression in cardiomyocytes in the adult heart after injury does not identify cardiac myogenesis.
Project description:Stem cell transplantation holds great promise for the treatment of myocardial infarction injury. We recently described the embryonic stem cell-derived cardiac progenitor cells (CPCs) capable of differentiating into cardiomyocytes, vascular endothelium, and smooth muscle. In this study, we hypothesized that transplanted CPCs will preserve function of the infarcted heart by participating in both muscle replacement and neovascularization. Differentiated CPCs formed functional electromechanical junctions with cardiomyocytes in vitro and conducted action potentials over cm-scale distances. When transplanted into infarcted mouse hearts, CPCs engrafted long-term in the infarct zone and surrounding myocardium without causing teratomas or arrhythmias. The grafted cells differentiated into cross-striated cardiomyocytes forming gap junctions with the host cells, while also contributing to neovascularization. Serial echocardiography and pressure-volume catheterization demonstrated attenuated ventricular dilatation and preserved left ventricular fractional shortening, systolic and diastolic function. Our results demonstrate that CPCs can engraft, differentiate, and preserve the functional output of the infarcted heart.
Project description:Stem cell therapy has emerged as a promising strategy for cardiac and vascular repair. The ultimate goal is to rebuild functional myocardium by transplanting exogenous stem cells or by activating native stem cells to induce endogenous repair. CS/PCs (cardiac stem/progenitor cells) are one type of adult stem cell with the potential to differentiate into cardiac lineages (cardiomyocytes, smooth muscle cells and endothelial cells). iPSCs (induced pluripotent stem cells) also have the capacity to differentiate into necessary cells to rebuild injured cardiac tissue. Both types of stem cells have brought promise for cardiac repair. The present review summarizes recent advances in cardiac cell therapy based on these two cell sources and discusses the advantages and limitations of each candidate. We conclude that, although both types of stem cells can be considered for autologous transplantation with promising outcomes in animal models, CS/PCs have advanced more in their clinical application because iPSCs and their derivatives possess inherent obstacles for clinical use. Further studies are needed to move cell therapy forward for the treatment of heart disease.
Project description:Correct delineation of the hierarchy of cardiac progenitors is a key step to understanding heart development, and will pave the way for future use of cardiac progenitors in the treatment of heart disease. Multipotent Nkx2-5 and Isl1 cardiac progenitors contribute to cardiomyocyte, smooth muscle, and endothelial lineages, which constitute the major lineages of the heart. Recently, progenitors located within the proepicardium and epicardium were reported to differentiate into cardiomyocytes, as well as smooth muscle and endothelial cells. However, the relationship of these proepicardial progenitors to the previously described Nkx2-5 and Isl1 cardiac progenitors is incompletely understood. To address this question, we performed in vivo Cre-loxP-based lineage tracing. Both Nkx2-5- and Isl1-expressing progenitors contributed to the proepicardium and expressed Wt1 and Tbx18, markers of proepicardial progenitor cells. Interestingly, Nkx2-5 knockout resulted in abnormal proepicardial development and decreased expression of Wt1, suggesting a functional role for Nkx2-5 in proepicardium formation. Taken together, these results suggest that Nkx2-5 and/or Isl1 cardiac progenitors contribute to proepicardium during heart development.
Project description:The epicardial epithelial-mesenchymal transition (EMT) is hypothesized to generate cardiovascular progenitor cells that differentiate into various cell types, including coronary smooth muscle and endothelial cells, perivascular and cardiac interstitial fibroblasts and cardiomyocytes. Here we show that an epicardial-specific knockout of the gene encoding Wilms' tumor-1 (Wt1) leads to a reduction in mesenchymal progenitor cells and their derivatives. We show that Wt1 is essential for repression of the epithelial phenotype in epicardial cells and during embryonic stem cell differentiation through direct transcriptional regulation of the genes encoding Snail (Snai1) and E-cadherin (Cdh1), two of the major mediators of EMT. Some mesodermal lineages do not form in Wt1-null embryoid bodies, but this effect is rescued by the expression of Snai1, underscoring the importance of EMT in generating these differentiated cells. These new insights into the molecular mechanisms regulating cardiovascular progenitor cells and EMT will shed light on the pathogenesis of heart diseases and may help the development of cell-based therapies.
Project description:A significant bottleneck in cardiovascular regenerative medicine is the identification of a viable source of stem/progenitor cells that could contribute new muscle after ischaemic heart disease and acute myocardial infarction. A therapeutic ideal--relative to cell transplantation--would be to stimulate a resident source, thus avoiding the caveats of limited graft survival, restricted homing to the site of injury and host immune rejection. Here we demonstrate in mice that the adult heart contains a resident stem or progenitor cell population, which has the potential to contribute bona fide terminally differentiated cardiomyocytes after myocardial infarction. We reveal a novel genetic label of the activated adult progenitors via re-expression of a key embryonic epicardial gene, Wilm's tumour 1 (Wt1), through priming by thymosin ?4, a peptide previously shown to restore vascular potential to adult epicardium-derived progenitor cells with injury. Cumulative evidence indicates an epicardial origin of the progenitor population, and embryonic reprogramming results in the mobilization of this population and concomitant differentiation to give rise to de novo cardiomyocytes. Cell transplantation confirmed a progenitor source and chromosome painting of labelled donor cells revealed transdifferentiation to a myocyte fate in the absence of cell fusion. Derived cardiomyocytes are shown here to structurally and functionally integrate with resident muscle; as such, stimulation of this adult progenitor pool represents a significant step towards resident-cell-based therapy in human ischaemic heart disease.