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A novel therapeutic advancement in the search for heart muscle progenitor cells
Date:11/26/2012

e 2012 Nobel Prize for Medicine. This work, published just six years ago, demonstrated that only four proteins are responsible for the embryonic state of cells (Takahashi K, Yamanaka S. Cell 2006, 126 (4): 663 -676). He brought those four genes into differentiated mature and specialized cells, which then returned them back to an embryonic state. From these cells, which he called iPS cells, scientists can develop all cells of the body, such as liver cells, nerve cells or heart muscle cells.

In their study, the researchers used cells from a mouse strain in which the cells are labeled with a visible green fluorescent protein (GFP) that can be identified with a fluorescence microscope. The cells from these mice were then reprogrammed with the same four genes discovered by Yamanka, resulting in iPS cells that could be easily identified.

In a next step, the researchers cultured the GFP-labeled iPS cells in the laboratory under different conditions with cell-influencing solutions such as growth factors. "Using our newly established cell surface markers, we could detect and isolate the Flt1 and Flt4 positive CPCs in culture," says Schenke-Layland. "When we cultured the isolated mouse CPCs then in vitro, they actually developed as well as the embryonic stem cell-derived progenitor cells into endothelial cells, smooth muscle cells and more interestingly into functional heart muscle cells."

iPS cell-derived CPCs integrate into the living mouse heart

But how do the developed CPCs behave in living organisms? Can these cells really integrate into tissue and regenerate heart muscle? To answer these questions, the scientists injected the GFP-labeled CPCs into the hearts of living mice. After 28 days, the researchers analyzed the hearts and saw that the green fluorescent cells had developed into beating heart muscle cells and had fully integrated into the myocardial tissue of the mouse.

Enormous potential for heart research<
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Contact: Katja Schenke-Layland
katja.schenke-layland@igb.fraunhofer.de
49-711-970-4082
Fraunhofer-Gesellschaft
Source:Eurekalert  

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