Forum for Science, Industry and Business

Sponsored by:     3M 
Search our Site:


Human stem cells from fat tissue fuse with rat heart cells and beat

New research in the FASEB Journal suggests that intraspecies communication exists on a cellular level, as demonstrated by rats communicating with human stem cells in the same genetic language

If Dr. Doolittle is famous for talking to animals, then here's a story that might make him hold his tongue: According to new research published online in The FASEB Journal (, scientists have successfully fused human stem cells derived from subcutaneous adipose (fat) tissue with muscle cells from rat hearts. Not only did these cells "talk" to form new muscle cells altogether, but they actually beat.

"Recovery of regenerative cells located in the stromal vascular fraction of a patient's own subcutaneous tissue is relatively simple and can be used for self-healing," said Christopher Alt, Ph.D., a researcher involved in the work from the Department of Molecular Pathology at the University of Texas in Houston. "A patient's quality of life can be improved by application of those recovered regenerative cells to the heart, as well as to bone, tendons, non-healing wounds and joints."

Using newborn rats, scientists studied the combination of rat heart muscle cells (cardiomyocytes) and human adipose (fat) stem cells derived from human subcutaneous adipose tissue. They found that the two fused and formed new heart muscle cells with several nuclei. When kept in a culture environment, these cells beat. These new cells exhibited an ability to compensate for a loss of cardiomyocytes as following a myocardial infarction, via fusion with cardiomyocytes. Furthermore, this study shows that contrary to previous findings suggesting that genetic modification of certain embryonic genes in adult stem cells is required as a prerequisite for turning into heart cells, the human stem cells used in this study were not genetically modified.

"Much work is still ahead before this method can be applied to humans, but the hope is that this technique might eventually make heart transplants unnecessary," said Gerald Weissmann, M.D., Editor-in-Chief of The FASEB Journal. "This study not only shows the power of stem cell fusion technology, but also that cardiac regeneration is on the horizon."

Receive monthly highlights from The FASEB Journal by e-mail. Sign up at The FASEB Journal ( is published by the Federation of the American Societies for Experimental Biology (FASEB) and celebrates its 25th anniversary in 2011. Over the past quarter century, the journal has been recognized by the Special Libraries Association as one of the top 100 most influential biomedical journals of the past century and is the most cited biology journal worldwide according to the Institute for Scientific Information.

FASEB comprises 23 societies with more than 100,000 members, making it the largest coalition of biomedical research associations in the United States. FASEB enhances the ability of scientists and engineers to improve—through their research—the health, well-being and productivity of all people. FASEB's mission is to advance health and welfare by promoting progress and education in biological and biomedical sciences through service to our member societies and collaborative advocacy.

Details: Roxana Metzele, Christopher Alt, Xiaowen Bai, Yasheng Yan, Zhi Zhang, Zhizhong Pan, Michael Coleman, Jody Vykoukal, Yao-Hua Song, and Eckhard Alt

Human adipose tissue-derived stem cells exhibit proliferation potential and spontaneous rhythmic contraction after fusion with neonatal rat cardiomyocytes

FASEB J March 2011 25:830-839; doi:10.1096/fj.09-153221 ;

Cody Mooneyhan | EurekAlert!
Further information:

More articles from Life Sciences:

nachricht Make way for the mini flying machines
21.03.2018 | American Chemical Society

nachricht New 4-D printer could reshape the world we live in
21.03.2018 | American Chemical Society

All articles from Life Sciences >>>

The most recent press releases about innovation >>>

Die letzten 5 Focus-News des innovations-reports im Überblick:

Im Focus: Researchers at Fraunhofer monitor re-entry of Chinese space station Tiangong-1

In just a few weeks from now, the Chinese space station Tiangong-1 will re-enter the Earth's atmosphere where it will to a large extent burn up. It is possible that some debris will reach the Earth's surface. Tiangong-1 is orbiting the Earth uncontrolled at a speed of approx. 29,000 km/h.Currently the prognosis relating to the time of impact currently lies within a window of several days. The scientists at Fraunhofer FHR have already been monitoring Tiangong-1 for a number of weeks with their TIRA system, one of the most powerful space observation radars in the world, with a view to supporting the German Space Situational Awareness Center and the ESA with their re-entry forecasts.

Following the loss of radio contact with Tiangong-1 in 2016 and due to the low orbital height, it is now inevitable that the Chinese space station will...

Im Focus: Alliance „OLED Licht Forum“ – Key partner for OLED lighting solutions

Fraunhofer Institute for Organic Electronics, Electron Beam and Plasma Technology FEP, provider of research and development services for OLED lighting solutions, announces the founding of the “OLED Licht Forum” and presents latest OLED design and lighting solutions during light+building, from March 18th – 23rd, 2018 in Frankfurt a.M./Germany, at booth no. F91 in Hall 4.0.

They are united in their passion for OLED (organic light emitting diodes) lighting with all of its unique facets and application possibilities. Thus experts in...

Im Focus: Mars' oceans formed early, possibly aided by massive volcanic eruptions

Oceans formed before Tharsis and evolved together, shaping climate history of Mars

A new scenario seeking to explain how Mars' putative oceans came and went over the last 4 billion years implies that the oceans formed several hundred million...

Im Focus: Tiny implants for cells are functional in vivo

For the first time, an interdisciplinary team from the University of Basel has succeeded in integrating artificial organelles into the cells of live zebrafish embryos. This innovative approach using artificial organelles as cellular implants offers new potential in treating a range of diseases, as the authors report in an article published in Nature Communications.

In the cells of higher organisms, organelles such as the nucleus or mitochondria perform a range of complex functions necessary for life. In the networks of...

Im Focus: Locomotion control with photopigments

Researchers from Göttingen University discover additional function of opsins

Animal photoreceptors capture light with photopigments. Researchers from the University of Göttingen have now discovered that these photopigments fulfill an...

All Focus news of the innovation-report >>>



Industry & Economy
Event News

Virtual reality conference comes to Reutlingen

19.03.2018 | Event News

Ultrafast Wireless and Chip Design at the DATE Conference in Dresden

16.03.2018 | Event News

International Tinnitus Conference of the Tinnitus Research Initiative in Regensburg

13.03.2018 | Event News

Latest News

TRAPPIST-1 planets provide clues to the nature of habitable worlds

21.03.2018 | Physics and Astronomy

The search for dark matter widens

21.03.2018 | Materials Sciences

Natural enemies reduce pesticide use

21.03.2018 | Life Sciences

Science & Research
Overview of more VideoLinks >>>