Forum for Science, Industry and Business

Sponsored by:     3M 
Search our Site:

 

Researchers identify master cardiac stem cell

24.11.2006
Progenitors develop into three types of heart cells, could be ideal for regenerative studies

Researchers from the Massachusetts General Hospital (MGH) Cardiovascular Research Center have discovered what appears to be a master cardiac stem cell, capable of differentiating into the three major types of cells that make up the mammalian heart. In their report appearing in the Dec. 15 issue of the journal Cell and receiving early online release, the scientists describe identifying these progenitor cells in mice, cloning single cells from embryonic stem cells, and showing that these cloned cells can differentiate into cardiac muscle, smooth muscle or endothelial cells.

"These cells offer new prospects for drug discovery and genetically based models of human disease. They also give us a new paradigm for cardiac development, in which a single multipotent cell can diversify into both muscle and endothelial lineages," says Kenneth R. Chien, MD, director of the MGH Cardiovascular Research Center (CVRC) and senior author of the Cell paper. "They additionally suggest a novel strategy for the regeneration of cardiac muscle, coronary arterial and pacemaker cells." Chien also leads the cardiovascular program at the Harvard Stem Cell Institute, one of the study's supporters.

Several populations of embryonic cells that develop into the heart and associated structures have previously been indentified. It has been thought that the three types of cells that make up the heart itself – the contracting cardiac muscle cells and the smooth muscle and endothelial cells that make up blood vessels – all develop from different cellular progenitors. Two major groups of cardiac muscle progenitors, called the first and second field, have been identified.

In 2005, Chien's team, then at the University of California at San Diego, described finding a group of cardiac muscle progenitors called isl1+ cells in heart tissue from newborn rats, mice and humans. The islet-1 protein, for which isl1+ progenitors are named, is known to be expressed in cells from the second cardiac field, which generate the structures on the right side of the heart. The current study was designed to investigate whether islet-1 expressing cells give rise to more than just cardiac muscle cells.

In a variety of experiments, the researchers first identified a small population of embryonic islet-1-expressing cells that can develop into working cardiac muscle, smooth muscle, pacemaker cells and the endothelial cells lining the major vessels of the heart and the coronary arteries. Starting with embryonic stem cells from mice, they were able to generate these multipotent embryonic isl1+ progenitor cells (MIPCs) – the parental cells that give rise to the postnatal progenitor cells identified in the 2005 study – and to clone and expand their population in vitro.

The team's in vivo study of mouse embryos found within primitive cardiac tissues a small group of cells expressing islet-1 and two other important proteins called Nkx2.5 and flk1. The researchers cultured and cloned those cells and found they could differentiate into all three cardiac cells types, verifying that they were MIPCs. Expression of the Nkx2.5 and flk1 genes seems to play a role in the process by which the cells 'decide' their developmental fate.

"We think these are authentic cardiac stem cells that are responsible for forming the diverse cell types of the heart, although other cells also contribute to some structures," says Chien. "These MIPCs may be excellent candidates for cardiac muscle regeneration studies, without the risk of tumor formation posed by embryonic stem cells or the limited effectiveness seen in studies using other cell types.

"It now appears that cardiac cells develop in the same way that blood cells do, with a master stem cell giving rise to the entire range of cells. The search is now on for the hormones that trigger expansion of MIPCs, which would be analogous to the factors that drive blood formation." Chien was recently named the Sanders Professor of Basic Science at Harvard Medical School.

The same issue of Cell contains an accompanying article from the Children's Hospital Boston laboratory of Stuart Orkin, MD, and the Harvard Stem Cell Institute describing the discovery in the first cardiac field of progenitor cells expressing the Nkx2.5 protein that can generate both cardiac and smooth muscle cells. Sean Wu, MD, PhD, the first author of that paper, has recently joined the MGH-CVRC where he and Chien's team will follow up these seminal findings, including clarifying any developmental relationship between the two types of progenitor cells.

Sue McGreevey | EurekAlert!
Further information:
http://www.mgh.harvard.edu/

More articles from Life Sciences:

nachricht Building a brain, cell by cell: Researchers make a mini neuron network (of two)
23.05.2018 | Institute of Industrial Science, The University of Tokyo

nachricht Research reveals how order first appears in liquid crystals
23.05.2018 | Brown University

All articles from Life Sciences >>>

The most recent press releases about innovation >>>

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

Im Focus: LZH showcases laser material processing of tomorrow at the LASYS 2018

At the LASYS 2018, from June 5th to 7th, the Laser Zentrum Hannover e.V. (LZH) will be showcasing processes for the laser material processing of tomorrow in hall 4 at stand 4E75. With blown bomb shells the LZH will present first results of a research project on civil security.

At this year's LASYS, the LZH will exhibit light-based processes such as cutting, welding, ablation and structuring as well as additive manufacturing for...

Im Focus: Self-illuminating pixels for a new display generation

There are videos on the internet that can make one marvel at technology. For example, a smartphone is casually bent around the arm or a thin-film display is rolled in all directions and with almost every diameter. From the user's point of view, this looks fantastic. From a professional point of view, however, the question arises: Is that already possible?

At Display Week 2018, scientists from the Fraunhofer Institute for Applied Polymer Research IAP will be demonstrating today’s technological possibilities and...

Im Focus: Explanation for puzzling quantum oscillations has been found

So-called quantum many-body scars allow quantum systems to stay out of equilibrium much longer, explaining experiment | Study published in Nature Physics

Recently, researchers from Harvard and MIT succeeded in trapping a record 53 atoms and individually controlling their quantum state, realizing what is called a...

Im Focus: Dozens of binaries from Milky Way's globular clusters could be detectable by LISA

Next-generation gravitational wave detector in space will complement LIGO on Earth

The historic first detection of gravitational waves from colliding black holes far outside our galaxy opened a new window to understanding the universe. A...

Im Focus: Entangled atoms shine in unison

A team led by Austrian experimental physicist Rainer Blatt has succeeded in characterizing the quantum entanglement of two spatially separated atoms by observing their light emission. This fundamental demonstration could lead to the development of highly sensitive optical gradiometers for the precise measurement of the gravitational field or the earth's magnetic field.

The age of quantum technology has long been heralded. Decades of research into the quantum world have led to the development of methods that make it possible...

All Focus news of the innovation-report >>>

Anzeige

Anzeige

VideoLinks
Industry & Economy
Event News

Save the date: Forum European Neuroscience – 07-11 July 2018 in Berlin, Germany

02.05.2018 | Event News

Invitation to the upcoming "Current Topics in Bioinformatics: Big Data in Genomics and Medicine"

13.04.2018 | Event News

Unique scope of UV LED technologies and applications presented in Berlin: ICULTA-2018

12.04.2018 | Event News

 
Latest News

Building a brain, cell by cell: Researchers make a mini neuron network (of two)

23.05.2018 | Life Sciences

One-way roads for spin currents

23.05.2018 | Physics and Astronomy

A simple mechanism could have been decisive for the development of life

23.05.2018 | Life Sciences

VideoLinks
Science & Research
Overview of more VideoLinks >>>