Author(s): Goumans MJ, de Boer TP, Smits AM, van Laake LW, van Vliet P,
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Abstract The adult mammalian heart has limited regenerative capacity and was generally considered to contain no dividing cells. Recently, however, a resident population of progenitor cells has been identified, which could represent a new source of cardiomyocytes. Here, we describe the efficient isolation and propagation of human cardiomyocyte progenitor cells (hCMPCs) from fetal heart and patient biopsies. Establishment of hCMPC cultures was remarkably reproducible, with over 70\% of adult atrial biopsies resulting in robustly expanding cell populations. Following the addition of transforming growth factor beta, almost all cells differentiated into spontaneously beating myocytes with characteristic cross striations. hCMPC-derived cardiomyocytes showed gap-junctional communication and action potentials of maturing cardiomyocytes. These are the first cells isolated from human heart that proliferate and form functional cardiomyocytes without requiring coculture with neonatal myocytes. Their scalability and homogeneity are unique and provide an excellent basis for developing physiological, pharmacological, and toxicological assays on human heart cells in vitro.
This article was published in Stem Cell Res
and referenced in Journal of Clinical & Experimental Cardiology