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Heart cells come of age

2015-12-29 09:45

Source : Nature; Stem Cell News 2015 July

Human stem cells have been coaxed into forming heart progenitor cells that
then develop into more-specialized heart cells.
Researchers have struggled to turn stem cells into large pools of cardiac cells
that would further divide.
Christine Mummery at Leiden University Medical Center in the Netherlands and her
colleagues introduced into human stem cells a version of the MYC gene that they
could control. By turning the gene on at key points during
the cells development, the researchers could keep the
cells at a certain stage, and expand their number. With
further regulation of certain biochemical signalling pathways,
the team converted those cells into pacemaker or
ventricular cells.
This approach could be used to create new models of
human cardiac disease, the authors say.
Nature Biotechnol. (2015)