Research press release


Nature Cell Biology

Direct cell conversion to cardiomyocytes



S Dingたちは、マウスの繊維芽細胞を使い、細胞を未分化状態に戻すために使われる因子を短時間発現させた後に、心臓形成を誘導する分子を含む特定の条件下で培養した。繊維芽細胞は多能性細胞に再プログラム化されることなく、心臓系列の細胞に転換されて、自発的収縮を行う分化した心筋細胞集団が形成された。細胞が再分化して心筋細胞になる前に、まず多能性細胞へと戻す必要がなくなったことで、この方法は細胞レベルで心臓の機能不全を調べるのに使えそうな細胞を手に入れる手っ取り早い方法となると考えられる。

A method for converting mouse fibroblasts into spontaneously contracting cardiac cells using factors conventionally used for reprogramming differentiated cells to a pluripotent state is reported online in Nature Cell Biology this week. The strategy may represent an alternative, and potentially quicker, way of obtaining cells that can be used to study potential heart dysfunctions in the laboratory.

To understand the basis of cardiac-related syndromes, stem cells researchers have devoted significant effort to obtaining contractile heart muscle cells, known as cardiomyocytes, from sources of cells easily isolated from patients, such as skin cells. Given that the mammalian heart lacks significant regenerative capacity, such strategies could be eventually used for transplantation.

After briefly expressing factors that usually revert cell fate to an undifferentiated state in mouse fibroblasts, Sheng Ding and colleagues placed the cells in chemically defined growth solution containing molecules favourable to cardiogenic development. They found that rather than reprogramming to a pluripotent state, cells were tweaked towards heart lineage and form spontaneously contracting patches of differentiated cardiomyocytes. By avoiding the need to revert cells to a fully pluripotent state before re-differentiating them to cardiomyocytes, this strategy could provide a shortcut in the obtention of cells that could be used to study heart dysfunctions in a dish.

doi: 10.1038/ncb2164


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