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Human cardiomyocyte generation from pluripotent stem cells: A state-of-art

Talkhabi, Mahmood, Aghdami, Nasser, Baharvand, Hossein
Life sciences 2016 v.145 pp. 98-113
cardiomyocytes, cardiovascular diseases, death, embryonic stem cells, humans, protocols, screening, suspension systems, therapeutics
The human heart is considered a non-regenerative organ. Worldwide, cardiovascular diseases continue to be the leading cause of death. Despite advances in cardiac treatment, myocardial repair remains severely limited by the lack of an appropriate source of viable cardiomyocytes (CMs) to replace damaged tissue. Human pluripotent stem cells (hPSCs), embryonic stem cells (ESCs) and induced pluripotent stem cells (iPSCs) can efficiently be differentiated into functional CMs necessary for cell replacement therapy and other potential applications. The number of protocols that derive CMs from hPSCs has increased exponentially over the past decade following observation of the first human beating CMs. A number of highly efficient, chemical based protocols have been developed to generate human CMs (hCMs) in small-scale and large-scale suspension systems. To reduce the heterogeneity of hPSC-derived CMs, the differentiation protocols were modulated to exclusively generate atrial-, ventricular-, and nodal-like CM subtypes. Recently, remarkable advances have been achieved in hCM generation including chemical-based cardiac differentiation, cardiac subtype specification, large-scale suspension culture differentiation, and development of chemically defined culture conditions. These hCMs could be useful particularly in the context of in vitro disease modeling, pharmaceutical screening and in cellular replacement therapies once the safety issues are overcome. Herein we review recent progress in the in vitro generation of CMs and cardiac subtypes from hPSCs and discuss their potential applications and current limitations.