Special Issue "Stem Cell Research on Cardiology"

A special issue of Cells (ISSN 2073-4409). This special issue belongs to the section "Stem Cells".

Deadline for manuscript submissions: closed (29 February 2020).

Printed Edition Available!
A printed edition of this Special Issue is available here.

Special Issue Editor

Prof. Robert David
Website
Guest Editor
1) University Medical Center Rostock, Clinic for Cardiac Surgery, University of Rostock, Rostock, Germany
2) Dept. Life, Light & Matter, Interdisc. Faculty, University of Rostock, Rostock, Germany
Interests: cardiovascular diseases; pluripotent stem cells; ESCs; iPSCs; adult stem cells; cell replacement; direct reprogramming; cardiac regeneration; stem cell optimisation; cell targeting; sinus node; biological pacemaker; cell therapy; gene therapy; forward programming; direct reprogramming; organoid; disease-in-the-dish
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Special Issue Information

Dear Colleagues, 

Cardiovascular diseases are the leading cause of death in the developed countries with very limited therapeutic options. A major cause lies in the very rstricted regenerative capacity of terminally differentiated cardiomyocytes post injury – therefore novel approaches toward cardiac regenerative therapy is highly desired. Following injury oft he myocardium, resident cardiac fibroblasts, representing over 50% of the cells in the heart, start to proliferate and produce extracellular matrix, which will ultimately leads to fibrosis and heart failure. A large number of preclinical and clinical trials have shown stem cell therapy to be a promising therapeutic approach for the treatment of cardiovascular diseases. Since the first transplantation into human patients, several stem cell types have been applied in this field, including bone marrow derived stem cells, cardiac progenitors as well as embryonic and induced pluripotent stem cells and their derivatives. In addition, the novel field of direct cardiac reprogramming brougt promising advances in vitro and in vivo, opening an additional future field for cardiovascular regenerative medicine. In order to optimize these approaches, it will be crucial to elucidate the underlying mechanisms mediating the beneficial effects of stem cell transplantation or direct reprogramming. Based on these mechanisms, scientists have begun to develop different improvement strategies to boost the potency of stem cell repair and to generate the "next generation" of cell based therapeutics.

The current Special Issue will accept original studies, reviews and technical reports in the field of cardiovascular stem cell biology and reprogramming, written by scientists active in the field.

Prof. Robert David
Guest Editor

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Keywords

  • Cardiovascular diseases
  • Pluripotent stem cells
  • ESCs
  • iPSCs
  • Adult Stem Cells
  • Cell replacement
  • Direct Reprogramming
  • Cardiac regeneration
  • Stem cell optimisation
  • Cell Targeting

Published Papers (16 papers)

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Research

Jump to: Review

Open AccessFeature PaperArticle
The Diagnostic Value of Mir-133a in ST Elevation and Non-ST Elevation Myocardial Infarction: A Meta-Analysis
Cells 2020, 9(4), 793; https://doi.org/10.3390/cells9040793 - 25 Mar 2020
Cited by 1
Abstract
Numerous studies have reported correlations between plasma microRNA signatures and cardiovascular disease. MicroRNA-133a (Mir-133a) has been researched extensively for its diagnostic value in acute myocardial infarction (AMI). While initial results seemed promising, more recent studies cast doubt on the diagnostic utility of Mir-133a, [...] Read more.
Numerous studies have reported correlations between plasma microRNA signatures and cardiovascular disease. MicroRNA-133a (Mir-133a) has been researched extensively for its diagnostic value in acute myocardial infarction (AMI). While initial results seemed promising, more recent studies cast doubt on the diagnostic utility of Mir-133a, calling its clinical prospects into question. Here, the diagnostic potential of Mir-133a was analyzed using data from multiple papers. Medline, Embase, and Web of Science were systematically searched for publications containing “Cardiovascular Disease”, “MicroRNA”, “Mir-133a” and their synonyms. Diagnostic performance was assessed using area under the summary receiver operator characteristic curve (AUC), while examining the impact of age, sex, final diagnosis, and time. Of the 753 identified publications, 9 were included in the quantitative analysis. The pooled AUC for Mir-133a was 0.73. Analyses performed separately on studies using healthy vs. symptomatic controls yielded pooled AUCs of 0.89 and 0.68, respectively. Age and sex were not found to significantly affect diagnostic performance. Our findings indicate that control characteristics and methodological inconsistencies are likely the causes of incongruent reports, and that Mir-133a may have limited use in distinguishing symptomatic patients from those suffering AMI. Lastly, we hypothesized that Mir-133a may find a new use as a risk stratification biomarker in patients with specific subsets of non-ST elevation myocardial infarction (NSTEMI). Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Stem Cell Research on Cardiology) Printed Edition available
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Open AccessArticle
Fibronectin Adsorption on Electrospun Synthetic Vascular Grafts Attracts Endothelial Progenitor Cells and Promotes Endothelialization in Dynamic In Vitro Culture
Cells 2020, 9(3), 778; https://doi.org/10.3390/cells9030778 - 23 Mar 2020
Cited by 4
Abstract
Appropriate mechanical properties and fast endothelialization of synthetic grafts are key to ensure long-term functionality of implants. We used a newly developed biostable polyurethane elastomer (TPCU) to engineer electrospun vascular scaffolds with promising mechanical properties (E-modulus: 4.8 ± 0.6 MPa, burst pressure: 3326 [...] Read more.
Appropriate mechanical properties and fast endothelialization of synthetic grafts are key to ensure long-term functionality of implants. We used a newly developed biostable polyurethane elastomer (TPCU) to engineer electrospun vascular scaffolds with promising mechanical properties (E-modulus: 4.8 ± 0.6 MPa, burst pressure: 3326 ± 78 mmHg), which were biofunctionalized with fibronectin (FN) and decorin (DCN). Neither uncoated nor biofunctionalized TPCU scaffolds induced major adverse immune responses except for minor signs of polymorph nuclear cell activation. The in vivo endothelial progenitor cell homing potential of the biofunctionalized scaffolds was simulated in vitro by attracting endothelial colony-forming cells (ECFCs). Although DCN coating did attract ECFCs in combination with FN (FN + DCN), DCN-coated TPCU scaffolds showed a cell-repellent effect in the absence of FN. In a tissue-engineering approach, the electrospun and biofunctionalized tubular grafts were cultured with primary-isolated vascular endothelial cells in a custom-made bioreactor under dynamic conditions with the aim to engineer an advanced therapy medicinal product. Both FN and FN + DCN functionalization supported the formation of a confluent and functional endothelial layer. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Stem Cell Research on Cardiology) Printed Edition available
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Open AccessFeature PaperArticle
Cardioprotective Potential of Human Endothelial-Colony Forming Cells from Diabetic and Nondiabetic Donors
Cells 2020, 9(3), 588; https://doi.org/10.3390/cells9030588 - 02 Mar 2020
Cited by 1
Abstract
Objective: The potential therapeutic role of endothelial progenitor cells (EPCs) in ischemic heart disease for myocardial repair and regeneration is subject to intense investigation. The aim of the study was to investigate the proregenerative potential of human endothelial colony-forming cells (huECFCs), a very [...] Read more.
Objective: The potential therapeutic role of endothelial progenitor cells (EPCs) in ischemic heart disease for myocardial repair and regeneration is subject to intense investigation. The aim of the study was to investigate the proregenerative potential of human endothelial colony-forming cells (huECFCs), a very homogenous and highly proliferative endothelial progenitor cell subpopulation, in a myocardial infarction (MI) model of severe combined immunodeficiency (SCID) mice. Methods: CD34+ peripheral blood mononuclear cells were isolated from patient blood samples using immunomagnetic beads. For generating ECFCs, CD34+ cells were plated on fibronectin-coated dishes and were expanded by culture in endothelial-specific cell medium. Either huECFCs (5 × 105) or control medium were injected into the peri-infarct region after surgical MI induction in SCID/beige mice. Hemodynamic function was assessed invasively by conductance micromanometry 30 days post-MI. Hearts of sacrificed animals were analyzed by immunohistochemistry to assess cell fate, infarct size, and neovascularization (huECFCs n = 15 vs. control n = 10). Flow-cytometric analysis of enzymatically digested whole heart tissue was used to analyze different subsets of migrated CD34+/CD45+ peripheral mononuclear cells as well as CD34/CD45 cardiac-resident stem cells two days post-MI (huECFCs n = 10 vs. control n = 6). Results: Transplantation of human ECFCs after MI improved left ventricular (LV) function at day 30 post-MI (LVEF: 30.43 ± 1.20% vs. 22.61 ± 1.73%, p < 0.001; ΔP/ΔTmax 5202.28 ± 316.68 mmHg/s vs. 3896.24 ± 534.95 mmHg/s, p < 0.05) when compared to controls. In addition, a significantly reduced infarct size (50.3 ± 4.5% vs. 66.1 ± 4.3%, p < 0.05) was seen in huECFC treated animals compared to controls. Immunohistochemistry failed to show integration and survival of transplanted cells. However, anti-CD31 immunohistochemistry demonstrated an increased vascular density within the infarct border zone (8.6 ± 0.4 CD31+ capillaries per HPF vs. 6.2 ± 0.5 CD31+ capillaries per HPF, p < 0.001). Flow cytometry at day two post-MI showed a trend towards increased myocardial homing of CD45+/CD34+ mononuclear cells (1.1 ± 0.3% vs. 0.7 ± 0.1%, p = 0.2). Interestingly, we detected a significant increase in the population of CD34/CD45/Sca1+ cardiac resident stem cells (11.7 ± 1.7% vs. 4.7 ± 1.7%, p < 0.01). In a subgroup analysis no significant differences were seen in the cardioprotective effects of huECFCs derived from diabetic or nondiabetic patients. Conclusions: In a murine model of myocardial infarction in SCID mice, transplantation of huECFCs ameliorated myocardial function by attenuation of adverse post-MI remodeling, presumably through paracrine effects. Cardiac repair is enhanced by increasing myocardial neovascularization and the pool of Sca1+ cardiac resident stem cells. The use of huECFCs for treating ischemic heart disease warrants further investigation. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Stem Cell Research on Cardiology) Printed Edition available
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Open AccessArticle
RNA-Based Strategies for Cardiac Reprogramming of Human Mesenchymal Stromal Cells
Cells 2020, 9(2), 504; https://doi.org/10.3390/cells9020504 - 22 Feb 2020
Cited by 1
Abstract
Multipotent adult mesenchymal stromal cells (MSCs) could represent an elegant source for the generation of patient-specific cardiomyocytes needed for regenerative medicine, cardiovascular research, and pharmacological studies. However, the differentiation of adult MSC into a cardiac lineage is challenging compared to embryonic stem cells [...] Read more.
Multipotent adult mesenchymal stromal cells (MSCs) could represent an elegant source for the generation of patient-specific cardiomyocytes needed for regenerative medicine, cardiovascular research, and pharmacological studies. However, the differentiation of adult MSC into a cardiac lineage is challenging compared to embryonic stem cells or induced pluripotent stem cells. Here we used non-integrative methods, including microRNA and mRNA, for cardiac reprogramming of adult MSC derived from bone marrow, dental follicle, and adipose tissue. We found that MSC derived from adipose tissue can partly be reprogrammed into the cardiac lineage by transient overexpression of GATA4, TBX5, MEF2C, and MESP1, while cells isolated from bone marrow, and dental follicle exhibit only weak reprogramming efficiency. qRT-PCR and transcriptomic analysis revealed activation of a cardiac-specific gene program and up-regulation of genes known to promote cardiac development. Although we did not observe the formation of fully mature cardiomyocytes, our data suggests that adult MSC have the capability to acquire a cardiac-like phenotype when treated with mRNA coding for transcription factors that regulate heart development. Yet, further optimization of the reprogramming process is mandatory to increase the reprogramming efficiency. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Stem Cell Research on Cardiology) Printed Edition available
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Open AccessArticle
Case Report on: Very Early Afterdepolarizations in HiPSC-Cardiomyocytes—An Artifact by Big Conductance Calcium Activated Potassium Current (Ibk,Ca)
Cells 2020, 9(1), 253; https://doi.org/10.3390/cells9010253 - 20 Jan 2020
Cited by 1
Abstract
Human induced pluripotent stem cell-derived cardiomyocytes (hiPSC-CMs) represent an unlimited source of human CMs that could be a standard tool in drug research. However, there is concern whether hiPSC-CMs express all cardiac ion channels at physiological level and whether they might express non-cardiac [...] Read more.
Human induced pluripotent stem cell-derived cardiomyocytes (hiPSC-CMs) represent an unlimited source of human CMs that could be a standard tool in drug research. However, there is concern whether hiPSC-CMs express all cardiac ion channels at physiological level and whether they might express non-cardiac ion channels. In a control hiPSC line, we found large, “noisy” outward K+ currents, when we measured outward potassium currents in isolated hiPSC-CMs. Currents were sensitive to iberiotoxin, the selective blocker of big conductance Ca2+-activated K+ current (IBK,Ca). Seven of 16 individual differentiation batches showed a strong initial repolarization in the action potentials (AP) recorded from engineered heart tissue (EHT) followed by very early afterdepolarizations, sometimes even with consecutive oscillations. Iberiotoxin stopped oscillations and normalized AP shape, but had no effect in other EHTs without oscillations or in human left ventricular tissue (LV). Expression levels of the alpha-subunit (KCa1.1) of the BKCa correlated with the presence of oscillations in hiPSC-CMs and was not detectable in LV. Taken together, individual batches of hiPSC-CMs can express sarcolemmal ion channels that are otherwise not found in the human heart, resulting in oscillating afterdepolarizations in the AP. HiPSC-CMs should be screened for expression of non-cardiac ion channels before being applied to drug research. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Stem Cell Research on Cardiology) Printed Edition available
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Open AccessCommunication
Angiogenic Potential of Bone Marrow Derived CD133+ and CD271+ Intramyocardial Stem Cell Trans- Plantation Post MI
Cells 2020, 9(1), 78; https://doi.org/10.3390/cells9010078 - 27 Dec 2019
Cited by 4
Abstract
Background: Bone marrow (BM)-derived stem cells with their various functions and characteristics have become a well-recognized source for the cell-based therapies. However, knowledge on their therapeutic potential and the shortage for a cross-link between distinct BM-derived stem cells, primed after the onset of [...] Read more.
Background: Bone marrow (BM)-derived stem cells with their various functions and characteristics have become a well-recognized source for the cell-based therapies. However, knowledge on their therapeutic potential and the shortage for a cross-link between distinct BM-derived stem cells, primed after the onset of myocardial infarction (MI), seems to be still rudimentary. Therefore, the post-examination of the therapeutic characteristics of such primed hematopoietic CD133+ and mesenchymal CD271+ stem cells was the object of the present study. Methods and Results: The effects of respective CD133+ and CD271+ mononuclear cells alone as well as in the co-culture model have been explored with focus on their angiogenic potential. The phenotypic analysis revealed a small percentage of isolated cells expressing both surface markers. Moreover, target stem cells isolated with our standardized immunomagnetic isolation procedure did not show any negative alterations following BM storage in regard to cell numbers and/or quality. In vitro network formation relied predominantly on CD271+ stem cells when compared with single CD133+ culture. Interestingly, CD133+ cells contributed in the tube formation, only if they were cultivated in combination with CD271+ cells. Additional to the in vitro examination, therapeutic effects of the primed stem cells were investigated 48 h post MI in a murine model. Hence, we have found a lower expression of transforming growth factor βeta 3 (TGFβ3) as well as an increase of the proangiogenic factors after CD133+ cell treatment in contrast to CD271+ cell treatment. On the other hand, the CD271+ cell therapy led to a lower expression of the inflammatory cytokines. Conclusion: The interactions between CD271+ and CD133+ subpopulations the extent to which the combination may enhance cardiac regeneration has still not been investigated so far. We expect that the multiple characteristics and various regenerative effects of CD271+ cells alone as well as in combination with CD133+ will result in an improved therapeutic impact on ischemic heart disease. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Stem Cell Research on Cardiology) Printed Edition available
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Open AccessArticle
18F-FDG PET-Based Imaging of Myocardial Inflammation Predicts a Functional Outcome Following Transplantation of mESC-Derived Cardiac Induced Cells in a Mouse Model of Myocardial Infarction
Cells 2019, 8(12), 1613; https://doi.org/10.3390/cells8121613 - 11 Dec 2019
Cited by 4
Abstract
Cellular inflammation following acute myocardial infarction has gained increasing importance as a target mechanism for therapeutic approaches. We sought to investigate the effect of syngeneic cardiac induced cells (CiC) on myocardial inflammation using 18F-FDG PET (Positron emission tomography)-based imaging and the resulting effect [...] Read more.
Cellular inflammation following acute myocardial infarction has gained increasing importance as a target mechanism for therapeutic approaches. We sought to investigate the effect of syngeneic cardiac induced cells (CiC) on myocardial inflammation using 18F-FDG PET (Positron emission tomography)-based imaging and the resulting effect on cardiac pump function using cardiac magnetic resonance (CMR) imaging in a mouse model of myocardial infarction. Mice underwent permanent left anterior descending coronary artery (LAD) ligation inducing an acute inflammatory response. The therapy group received an intramyocardial injection of 106 CiC into the border zone of the infarction. Five days after myocardial infarction, 18F-FDG PET was performed under anaesthesia with ketamine and xylazine (KX) to image the inflammatory response in the heart. Flow cytometry of the mononuclear cells in the heart was performed to analyze the inflammatory response. The effect of CiC therapy on cardiac function was determined after three weeks by CMR. The 18F-FDG PET imaging of the heart five days after myocardial infarction (MI) revealed high focal tracer accumulation in the border zone of the infarcted myocardium, whereas no difference was observed in the tracer uptake between infarct and remote myocardium. The CiC transplantation induced a shift in 18F-FDG uptake pattern, leading to significantly higher 18F-FDG uptake in the whole heart, as well as the remote area of the heart. Correspondingly, high numbers of CD11+ cells could be measured by flow cytometry in this region. The CiC transplantation significantly improved the left ventricular ejection function (LVEF) three weeks after myocardial infarction. The CiC transplantation after myocardial infarction leads to an improvement in pump function through modulation of the cellular inflammatory response five days after myocardial infarction. By combining CiC transplantation and the cardiac glucose uptake suppression protocol with KX in a mouse model, we show for the first time, that imaging of cellular inflammation after myocardial infarction using 18F-FDG PET can be used as an early prognostic tool for assessing the efficacy of cardiac stem cell therapies. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Stem Cell Research on Cardiology) Printed Edition available
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Open AccessFeature PaperArticle
CD271+ Human Mesenchymal Stem Cells Show Antiarrhythmic Effects in a Novel Murine Infarction Model
Cells 2019, 8(12), 1474; https://doi.org/10.3390/cells8121474 - 20 Nov 2019
Cited by 4
Abstract
Background: Ventricular arrhythmias (VA) are a common cause of sudden death after myocardial infarction (MI). Therefore, developing new therapeutic methods for the prevention and treatment of VA is of prime importance. Methods: Human bone marrow derived CD271+ mesenchymal stem cells (MSC) were [...] Read more.
Background: Ventricular arrhythmias (VA) are a common cause of sudden death after myocardial infarction (MI). Therefore, developing new therapeutic methods for the prevention and treatment of VA is of prime importance. Methods: Human bone marrow derived CD271+ mesenchymal stem cells (MSC) were tested for their antiarrhythmic effect. This was done through the development of a novel mouse model using an immunocompromised Rag2−/− γc−/− mouse strain subjected to myocardial “infarction-reinfarction”. The mice underwent a first ischemia-reperfusion through the left anterior descending (LAD) artery closure for 45 min with a subsequent second permanent LAD ligation after seven days from the first infarct. Results: This mouse model induced various types of VA detected with continuous electrocardiogram (ECG) monitoring via implanted telemetry device. The immediate intramyocardial delivery of CD271+ MSC after the first MI significantly reduced VA induced after the second MI. Conclusions: In addition to the clinical relevance, more closely reflecting patients who suffer from severe ischemic heart disease and related arrhythmias, our new mouse model bearing reinfarction warrants the time required for stem cell engraftment and for the first time enables us to analyze and verify significant antiarrhythmic effects of human CD271+ stem cells in vivo. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Stem Cell Research on Cardiology) Printed Edition available
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Open AccessCommunication
Blocking LFA-1 Aggravates Cardiac Inflammation in Experimental Autoimmune Myocarditis
Cells 2019, 8(10), 1267; https://doi.org/10.3390/cells8101267 - 17 Oct 2019
Cited by 1
Abstract
The lymphocyte function-associated antigen 1 (LFA-1) is a member of the beta2-integrin family and plays a pivotal role for T cell activation and leukocyte trafficking under inflammatory conditions. Blocking LFA-1 has reduced or aggravated inflammation depending on the inflammation model. To investigate the [...] Read more.
The lymphocyte function-associated antigen 1 (LFA-1) is a member of the beta2-integrin family and plays a pivotal role for T cell activation and leukocyte trafficking under inflammatory conditions. Blocking LFA-1 has reduced or aggravated inflammation depending on the inflammation model. To investigate the effect of LFA-1 in myocarditis, mice with experimental autoimmune myocarditis (EAM) were treated with a function blocking anti-LFA-1 antibody from day 1 of disease until day 21, the peak of inflammation. Cardiac inflammation was evaluated by measuring infiltration of leukocytes into the inflamed cardiac tissue using histology and flow cytometry and was assessed by analysis of the heart weight/body weight ratio. LFA-1 antibody treatment severely enhanced leukocyte infiltration, in particular infiltration of CD11b+ monocytes, F4/80+ macrophages, CD4+ T cells, Ly6G+ neutrophils, and CD133+ progenitor cells at peak of inflammation which was accompanied by an increased heart weight/body weight ratio. Thus, blocking LFA-1 starting at the time of immunization severely aggravated acute cardiac inflammation in the EAM model. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Stem Cell Research on Cardiology) Printed Edition available
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Open AccessArticle
Generation of GLA-Knockout Human Embryonic Stem Cell Lines to Model Autophagic Dysfunction and Exosome Secretion in Fabry Disease-Associated Hypertrophic Cardiomyopathy
Cells 2019, 8(4), 327; https://doi.org/10.3390/cells8040327 - 08 Apr 2019
Cited by 9
Abstract
Fabry disease (FD) is a rare inherited disorder characterized by a wide range of systemic symptoms; it is particularly associated with cardiovascular and renal problems. Enzyme replacement therapy and pharmacological chaperone migalastat are the only approved and effective treatment strategies for FD patients. [...] Read more.
Fabry disease (FD) is a rare inherited disorder characterized by a wide range of systemic symptoms; it is particularly associated with cardiovascular and renal problems. Enzyme replacement therapy and pharmacological chaperone migalastat are the only approved and effective treatment strategies for FD patients. It is well documented that alpha-galactosidase A (GLA) enzyme activity deficiency causes globotriaosylceramide (Gb3) accumulation, which plays a crucial role in the etiology of FD. However, the detailed mechanisms remain unclear, and the lack of a reliable and powerful disease model is an obstacle. In this study, we created such a model by using CRISPR/Cas9-mediated editing of GLA gene to knockout its expression in human embryonic stem cells (hESCs). The cardiomyocytes differentiated from these hESCs (GLA-null CMs) were characterized by the accumulation of Gb3 and significant increases of cell surface area, the landmarks of FD-associated cardiomyopathy. Furthermore, we used mass spectrometry to compare the proteomes of GLA-null CMs and parental wild type CMs and found that the Rab GTPases involved in exocytotic vesicle release were significantly downregulated. This caused impairment of autophagic flux and protein turnover, resulting in an increase of reactive oxygen species and apoptosis. To summarize, we established a FD model which can be used as a promising tool to study human hypertrophic cardiomyopathy in a physiologically and pathologically relevant manner and to develop new therapies by targeting Rab GTPases signaling-related exosomal vesicles transportation. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Stem Cell Research on Cardiology) Printed Edition available
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Review

Jump to: Research

Open AccessReview
Recent Applications of Three Dimensional Printing in Cardiovascular Medicine
Cells 2020, 9(3), 742; https://doi.org/10.3390/cells9030742 - 17 Mar 2020
Cited by 5
Abstract
Three dimensional (3D) printing, which consists in the conversion of digital images into a 3D physical model, is a promising and versatile field that, over the last decade, has experienced a rapid development in medicine. Cardiovascular medicine, in particular, is one of the [...] Read more.
Three dimensional (3D) printing, which consists in the conversion of digital images into a 3D physical model, is a promising and versatile field that, over the last decade, has experienced a rapid development in medicine. Cardiovascular medicine, in particular, is one of the fastest growing area for medical 3D printing. In this review, we firstly describe the major steps and the most common technologies used in the 3D printing process, then we present current applications of 3D printing with relevance to the cardiovascular field. The technology is more frequently used for the creation of anatomical 3D models useful for teaching, training, and procedural planning of complex surgical cases, as well as for facilitating communication with patients and their families. However, the most attractive and novel application of 3D printing in the last years is bioprinting, which holds the great potential to solve the ever-increasing crisis of organ shortage. In this review, we then present some of the 3D bioprinting strategies used for fabricating fully functional cardiovascular tissues, including myocardium, heart tissue patches, and heart valves. The implications of 3D bioprinting in drug discovery, development, and delivery systems are also briefly discussed, in terms of in vitro cardiovascular drug toxicity. Finally, we describe some applications of 3D printing in the development and testing of cardiovascular medical devices, and the current regulatory frameworks that apply to manufacturing and commercialization of 3D printed products. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Stem Cell Research on Cardiology) Printed Edition available
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Open AccessReview
Engineered Maturation Approaches of Human Pluripotent Stem Cell-Derived Ventricular Cardiomyocytes
Cells 2020, 9(1), 9; https://doi.org/10.3390/cells9010009 - 18 Dec 2019
Cited by 1
Abstract
Heart diseases such as myocardial infarction and myocardial ischemia are paroxysmal and fatal in clinical practice. Cardiomyocytes (CMs) differentiated from human pluripotent stem cells provide a promising approach to myocardium regeneration therapy. Identifying the maturity level of human pluripotent stem cell-derived cardiomyocytes (hPSC-CMs) [...] Read more.
Heart diseases such as myocardial infarction and myocardial ischemia are paroxysmal and fatal in clinical practice. Cardiomyocytes (CMs) differentiated from human pluripotent stem cells provide a promising approach to myocardium regeneration therapy. Identifying the maturity level of human pluripotent stem cell-derived cardiomyocytes (hPSC-CMs) is currently the main challenge for pathophysiology and therapeutics. In this review, we describe current maturity indicators for cardiac microtissue and microdevice cultivation technologies that accelerate cardiac maturation. It may provide insights into regenerative medicine, drug cardiotoxicity testing, and preclinical safety testing. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Stem Cell Research on Cardiology) Printed Edition available
Open AccessReview
Cardiac Progenitor Cells from Stem Cells: Learning from Genetics and Biomaterials
Cells 2019, 8(12), 1536; https://doi.org/10.3390/cells8121536 - 28 Nov 2019
Cited by 3
Abstract
Cardiac Progenitor Cells (CPCs) show great potential as a cell resource for restoring cardiac function in patients affected by heart disease or heart failure. CPCs are proliferative and committed to cardiac fate, capable of generating cells of all the cardiac lineages. These cells [...] Read more.
Cardiac Progenitor Cells (CPCs) show great potential as a cell resource for restoring cardiac function in patients affected by heart disease or heart failure. CPCs are proliferative and committed to cardiac fate, capable of generating cells of all the cardiac lineages. These cells offer a significant shift in paradigm over the use of human induced pluripotent stem cell (iPSC)-derived cardiomyocytes owing to the latter’s inability to recapitulate mature features of a native myocardium, limiting their translational applications. The iPSCs and direct reprogramming of somatic cells have been attempted to produce CPCs and, in this process, a variety of chemical and/or genetic factors have been evaluated for their ability to generate, expand, and maintain CPCs in vitro. However, the precise stoichiometry and spatiotemporal activity of these factors and the genetic interplay during embryonic CPC development remain challenging to reproduce in culture, in terms of efficiency, numbers, and translational potential. Recent advances in biomaterials to mimic the native cardiac microenvironment have shown promise to influence CPC regenerative functions, while being capable of integrating with host tissue. This review highlights recent developments and limitations in the generation and use of CPCs from stem cells, and the trends that influence the direction of research to promote better application of CPCs. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Stem Cell Research on Cardiology) Printed Edition available
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Open AccessFeature PaperReview
Stem Cells in Cardiovascular Medicine: Historical Overview and Future Prospects
Cells 2019, 8(12), 1530; https://doi.org/10.3390/cells8121530 - 27 Nov 2019
Cited by 7
Abstract
Cardiovascular diseases remain the leading cause of death in the developed world, accounting for more than 30% of all deaths. In a large proportion of these patients, acute myocardial infarction is usually the first manifestation, which might further progress to heart failure. In [...] Read more.
Cardiovascular diseases remain the leading cause of death in the developed world, accounting for more than 30% of all deaths. In a large proportion of these patients, acute myocardial infarction is usually the first manifestation, which might further progress to heart failure. In addition, the human heart displays a low regenerative capacity, leading to a loss of cardiomyocytes and persistent tissue scaring, which entails a morbid pathologic sequela. Novel therapeutic approaches are urgently needed. Stem cells, such as induced pluripotent stem cells or embryonic stem cells, exhibit great potential for cell-replacement therapy and an excellent tool for disease modeling, as well as pharmaceutical screening of novel drugs and their cardiac side effects. This review article covers not only the origin of stem cells but tries to summarize their translational potential, as well as potential risks and clinical translation. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Stem Cell Research on Cardiology) Printed Edition available
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Open AccessFeature PaperReview
hiPSCs Derived Cardiac Cells for Drug and Toxicity Screening and Disease Modeling: What Micro- Electrode-Array Analyses Can Tell Us
Cells 2019, 8(11), 1331; https://doi.org/10.3390/cells8111331 - 28 Oct 2019
Cited by 13
Abstract
Human induced pluripotent stem cell (iPSC)-derived cardiomyocytes (CM) have been intensively used in drug development and disease modeling. Since iPSC-cardiomyocyte (CM) was first generated, their characterization has become a major focus of research. Multi-/micro-electrode array (MEA) systems provide a non-invasive user-friendly platform for [...] Read more.
Human induced pluripotent stem cell (iPSC)-derived cardiomyocytes (CM) have been intensively used in drug development and disease modeling. Since iPSC-cardiomyocyte (CM) was first generated, their characterization has become a major focus of research. Multi-/micro-electrode array (MEA) systems provide a non-invasive user-friendly platform for detailed electrophysiological analysis of iPSC cardiomyocytes including drug testing to identify potential targets and the assessment of proarrhythmic risk. Here, we provide a systematical overview about the physiological and technical background of micro-electrode array measurements of iPSC-CM. We introduce the similarities and differences between action- and field potential and the advantages and drawbacks of MEA technology. In addition, we present current studies focusing on proarrhythmic side effects of novel and established compounds combining MEA systems and iPSC-CM. MEA technology will help to open a new gateway for novel therapies in cardiovascular diseases while reducing animal experiments at the same time. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Stem Cell Research on Cardiology) Printed Edition available
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Open AccessReview
Molecular Mechanisms of Cardiac Remodeling and Regeneration in Physical Exercise
Cells 2019, 8(10), 1128; https://doi.org/10.3390/cells8101128 - 23 Sep 2019
Cited by 8
Abstract
Regular physical activity with aerobic and muscle-strengthening training protects against the occurrence and progression of cardiovascular disease and can improve cardiac function in heart failure patients. In the past decade significant advances have been made in identifying mechanisms of cardiomyocyte re-programming and renewal [...] Read more.
Regular physical activity with aerobic and muscle-strengthening training protects against the occurrence and progression of cardiovascular disease and can improve cardiac function in heart failure patients. In the past decade significant advances have been made in identifying mechanisms of cardiomyocyte re-programming and renewal including an enhanced exercise-induced proliferational capacity of cardiomyocytes and its progenitor cells. Various intracellular mechanisms mediating these positive effects on cardiac function have been found in animal models of exercise and will be highlighted in this review. 1) activation of extracellular and intracellular signaling pathways including phosphatidylinositol 3 phosphate kinase (PI3K)/protein kinase B (AKT)/mammalian target of rapamycin (mTOR), EGFR/JNK/SP-1, nitric oxide (NO)-signaling, and extracellular vesicles; 2) gene expression modulation via microRNAs (miR), in particular via miR-17-3p and miR-222; and 3) modulation of cardiac cellular metabolism and mitochondrial adaption. Understanding the cellular mechanisms, which generate an exercise-induced cardioprotective cellular phenotype with physiological hypertrophy and enhanced proliferational capacity may give rise to novel therapeutic targets. These may open up innovative strategies to preserve cardiac function after myocardial injury as well as in aged cardiac tissue. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Stem Cell Research on Cardiology) Printed Edition available
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