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<
|Contact: Katja Schenke-Layland |