Research press release


Nature Communications

Medical Research: Human iPS cells in a heartbeat



今回、Lei Yangたちは、マウスの脱細胞化した心臓全体で、ヒトiPS細胞に由来する多能性心血管前駆細胞(ヒトの心臓の発生における最初期の細胞)を再増殖させて、ヒトの心臓組織を作製した。この前駆細胞は順調に増殖して心筋になり、20日間の血液供給の後、心臓構造体の約90%が自発的に収縮するようになった。また、予想された電気生理学的性質も示し、心拍を促進することで知られる薬物にも正常に応答した。Yangたちは、この新知見は、今回作製された心臓組織が前臨床試験に応用できる可能性を示していると考えている。


Functional human heart tissues, derived from human induced pluripotent stem (iPS) cells and cultivated in mouse heart scaffolds, are reported in Nature Communications this week. This novel strategy for engineering personalized heart constructs could help study early heart formation or, eventually, find application in preclinical testing.

Engineering heart tissues through a process of re-seeding heart muscles into decellularized whole hearts has shown promise in a rat model; however, previous attempts to repopulate decellularized mouse hearts with human embryonic stem cells have failed to generate functional heart constructs.

Lei Yang and colleagues engineered human heart tissues by repopulating whole decellularized mouse hearts with multipotential cardiovascular progenitors - the earliest cells in human heart development - derived from human iPS cells. These cells successfully grew and developed in into heart muscles and, after 20 days of blood supply, the authors report that approximately 90% of constructs created displayed spontaneous contractions. They also exhibited expected electrophysiological characteristics and responded normally to drugs that are known to stimulate heartbeat. The authors suggest that this finding indicates potential preclinical applications for these engineered heart tissues.

They note, however, that the mechanical force generated by the tissues is currently insufficient for pumping blood and electrical conduction is slow; therefore, further study is needed in order to improve the functionality of these constructs.

doi: 10.1038/ncomms3307

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