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 Researchers identify potentially druggable mutant p53 proteins that promote cancer growth
09.12.2016 | Cold Spring Harbor Laboratory

nachricht Plant-based substance boosts eyelash growth
09.12.2016 | Fraunhofer-Institut für Angewandte Polymerforschung IAP

All articles from Life Sciences >>>

The most recent press releases about innovation >>>

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

Im Focus: Electron highway inside crystal

Physicists of the University of Würzburg have made an astonishing discovery in a specific type of topological insulators. The effect is due to the structure of the materials used. The researchers have now published their work in the journal Science.

Topological insulators are currently the hot topic in physics according to the newspaper Neue Zürcher Zeitung. Only a few weeks ago, their importance was...

Im Focus: Significantly more productivity in USP lasers

In recent years, lasers with ultrashort pulses (USP) down to the femtosecond range have become established on an industrial scale. They could advance some applications with the much-lauded “cold ablation” – if that meant they would then achieve more throughput. A new generation of process engineering that will address this issue in particular will be discussed at the “4th UKP Workshop – Ultrafast Laser Technology” in April 2017.

Even back in the 1990s, scientists were comparing materials processing with nanosecond, picosecond and femtosesecond pulses. The result was surprising:...

Im Focus: Shape matters when light meets atom

Mapping the interaction of a single atom with a single photon may inform design of quantum devices

Have you ever wondered how you see the world? Vision is about photons of light, which are packets of energy, interacting with the atoms or molecules in what...

Im Focus: Novel silicon etching technique crafts 3-D gradient refractive index micro-optics

A multi-institutional research collaboration has created a novel approach for fabricating three-dimensional micro-optics through the shape-defined formation of porous silicon (PSi), with broad impacts in integrated optoelectronics, imaging, and photovoltaics.

Working with colleagues at Stanford and The Dow Chemical Company, researchers at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign fabricated 3-D birefringent...

Im Focus: Quantum Particles Form Droplets

In experiments with magnetic atoms conducted at extremely low temperatures, scientists have demonstrated a unique phase of matter: The atoms form a new type of quantum liquid or quantum droplet state. These so called quantum droplets may preserve their form in absence of external confinement because of quantum effects. The joint team of experimental physicists from Innsbruck and theoretical physicists from Hannover report on their findings in the journal Physical Review X.

“Our Quantum droplets are in the gas phase but they still drop like a rock,” explains experimental physicist Francesca Ferlaino when talking about the...

All Focus news of the innovation-report >>>

Anzeige

Anzeige

Event News

ICTM Conference 2017: Production technology for turbomachine manufacturing of the future

16.11.2016 | Event News

Innovation Day Laser Technology – Laser Additive Manufacturing

01.11.2016 | Event News

#IC2S2: When Social Science meets Computer Science - GESIS will host the IC2S2 conference 2017

14.10.2016 | Event News

 
Latest News

Researchers identify potentially druggable mutant p53 proteins that promote cancer growth

09.12.2016 | Life Sciences

Scientists produce a new roadmap for guiding development & conservation in the Amazon

09.12.2016 | Ecology, The Environment and Conservation

Satellites, airport visibility readings shed light on troops' exposure to air pollution

09.12.2016 | Health and Medicine

VideoLinks
B2B-VideoLinks
More VideoLinks >>>