Leukemia Inhibitory Factor Increases Survival of Pluripotent Stem Cell-Derived Cardiomyocytes
Leukemia inhibitory factor (LIF) is a growth factor with pleiotropic biological functions. It has been reported that LIF acts at different stages during mesoderm development. Also, it has been shown that LIF has a cytoprotective effect on neonatal murine cardiomyocytes (CMs) in culture, but little is known about the role of LIF during human cardiogenesis. Thus, we analyzed the effects of LIF on human pluripotent stem cells (PSC) undergoing cardiac differentiation. We first showed that LIF is expressed in the human heart during early development. We found that the addition of LIF within a precise time window during the in vitro differentiation process significantly increased CMs viability. This finding was associated to a decrease in the expression of pro-apoptotic protein Bax, which coincides with a reduction of the apoptotic rate. Therefore, the addition of LIF may represent a promising strategy for increasing CMs survival derived from PSCs.
KeywordsPluripotent stem cells Embryonic stem cells Cardiac differentiation Cardiomyocyte Cardiac progenitor cell LIF Leukocyte inhibitory factor Apoptosis
Special thanks to Dario Fernandez Espinosa for his technical support.
This study was funded by Fondo para la Investigación Científica y Tecnológica (FONCyT) (PICT-2011-2717).
Compliance with Ethical Standards
Conflict of Interests
The authors declare that they have no conflict of interest.
This article does not contain any studies with human participants or animals performed by any of the authors.
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