Differentiation of Reprogrammed Mouse Cardiac Fibroblasts into Functional Cardiomyocytes
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Fibroblasts can be reprogrammed by ectopic expression of reprogramming factors to yield induced pluripotent stem (iPS) cells that are capable of transdifferentiating into diverse types of somatic cell lines. In this study, we examined if functional cardiomyocytes (CMs) can be produced from mouse cardiac fibroblasts (CFs), using iPS cell factor-based reprogramming. CFs were isolated from Oct4-GFP-C57 mice and infected with a retrovirus expressing the Yamanaka reprogramming factors, Oct4, Sox2, Klf4, and c-Myc to reprogram the CFs into a CF-iPS cell line. Primary mouse embryonic fibroblast cells (MEFs) were used as a control. We found that the dedifferentiated CF-iPS cells showed similar biological characteristics (morphology, pluripotent factor expression, and methylation level) as embryonic stem cells (ESs) and MEF-iPS cells. We used the classical embryoid bodies (EBs)-based method and a transwell CM co-culture system to simulate the myocardial paracrine microenvironment for performing CF-iPS cell cardiogenic differentiation. Under this simulated myocardial microenvironment, CF-iPS cells formed spontaneously beating EBs. The transdifferentiated self-beating cells expressed cardiac-specific transcription and structural factors and also displayed typical myocardial morphology and electrophysiological characteristics. CFs can be dedifferentiated into iPS cells and further transdifferentiated into CMs. CFs hold great promise for CM regeneration as an autologous cell source for functional CM in situ without the need for exogenous cell transplantation in ischemic heart disease.
KeywordsCardiac fibroblasts Induced pluripotent stem cells Directed differentiation Cardiomyocyte Myocardial regeneration
This study was supported by the National Natural Science Foundation of China (31071307) to Zhongming Zhang, Ministry of Science and Technology (2009CB941100) and Chinese Academy of Sciences (XDA01010401) to Gang Wang. We thank Dr. Jingwen Yin, Xiaona Chen, Zhen Liu and Yu Fu for their excellent technical assistance and all the members in Prof. Gang Wang’s lab for their helpful discussion in this study. We are grateful to Prof. Anning Lin for his kind help.
Conflict of interest
The authors confirm that there are no conflicts of interest.
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