Navigation Links
UCSD team discovers specialized, rare heart stem cells in newborns

The first evidence of cardiac progenitor cells ?rare, specialized stem cells located in the newborn heart of rats, mice and humans ?has been shown by researchers at the University of California, San Diego (UCSD) School of Medicine. The cells are capable of differentiation into fully mature heart tissue.

Called isl1+ cells, these cardiac progenitor cells are stem cells that have been programmed to form heart muscle during fetal growth. Until this new discovery, the cells were thought to be absent after birth. However, the UCSD team discovered a small number of the specialized stem cells remained embedded in a region of the newborn heart called the atrium. They also determined that the cells could be expanded into millions of progenitor cells by growing them on a layer of neighboring heart cells called fibroblasts.

Published in the February 10, 2005 issue of the journal Nature, the research identified the isl1+ progenitor cells in the tissue of newborn rats and mice, and then in heart tissue taken from five newborn human babies undergoing surgery for congenital heart defects.

Study author Sylvia Evans, Ph.D., a member of the UCSD Institute of Molecular Medicine (IMM) and professor of pharmacology, and co-first author Alessandra Moretti, Ph.D., IMM member, explained that the cells are programmed to become spontaneously beating cardiac muscle cells simply by exposure to other neighboring heart cells.

And, since these rare cardiac progenitor cells are found in regions of the atrium that are normally discarded during routine cardiac surgery, the discovery raises the possibility that an individual could receive their own cardiac stem cells to correct a wide spectrum of pediatric cardiac diseases, according to co-first authors Moretti and Karl-Ludwig Laugwitz, M.D., a Heisenberg-Scholar of the German Research Foundation.

"Conceptually, these cells could provide a cell-therapy based approach to pediatric cardiac disease, which is new fo r cardiology," said the study's senior author, Kenneth Chien, M.D., Ph.D., director of the UCSD Institute of Molecular Medicine. "Traditionally, pediatric cardiologists and cardiac surgeons have relied on mechanical devices, human and synthetic tissue grafts, and artificial and animal derived valves to surgically repair heart defects. While progenitor cells won't grow a whole new heart, our research has shown that they can spontaneously become cells from specific parts of the heart by simple co-exposure to other heart cells, which could augment existing surgical procedures. If the cells maintain pacemaker function when placed in the intact heart, they might serve as biological pacemakers for infants born with heart block, which could also be valuable."

After the isl1+ cells were found in newborn rats, the UCSD team used sophisticated genetic methods to tag the progenitor cells in living embryonic tissue and in the newborn heart of mice. With these techniques, they were able to show that the isl1+ progenitor cells were spontaneously able to form cardiac muscle tissue.

"Furthermore, the cardiac muscle cells formed were totally mature and had the complete array of function that one would expect in completely differentiated heart tissue," said the study's co-first author Jason Lam, Ph.D. candidate in the IMM. The cells exhibited contractility, pumping ability, the correct electrical physiology and normal heart structure. In addition, the progenitor cells coupled with neighboring cardiac muscle cells with resulting normal electrical heart beats.

"Another important discovery was the ability to expand the few cells found in a newborn heart, into millions of cells in lab culture dishes," Laugwitz said. "This implies that the isl1+ cells potentially could be harvested from an individual's heart tissue, multiplied in a laboratory setting, then re-implanted into the patient. Furthermore, the developmental lineage marker which identifies undifferentiated cardiogenic precursors suggests the feasibility of isolating isl1+ cardiac progenitors from mouse and human embryonic stem cell systems during cardiogenesis."

"We think that these cells normally play an important role in the remodeling of the heart after birth, when the newborn heart no longer relies upon the mother's circulation and oxygenation," Chien said. "We believe the isl1+ progenitor cells are left over from fetal development so that they can insure the closure of any existing small heart defects and the formation of a completely mature heart in newborns."

The UCSD team noted in the Nature paper that the next research steps with the isl1+ cells will be cellular transplantation in living animals to study their role in endogenous repair after cardiac injury.


'"/>

Source:University of California, San Diego


Related biology news :

1. University of Nevada, Reno research team discovers hormone that causes malaria mosquito to urinate
2. MIT chemist discovers secret behind natures medicines
3. Mayo Clinic collaboration discovers protein amplifies DNA injury signals
4. Expedition discovers marine treasures
5. Team discovers possible universal strategy to combat addiction
6. Nobelist discovers antidepressant protein in mouse brain
7. Joslin discovers signs of residual islet cell function in people with long-term type 1 diabetes
8. Contrary to common wisdom, scientist discovers some mammals can smell objects under water
9. U of S Vaccine and Infectious Disease Organization team discovers key step in flu virus replication
10. LSU professor discovers new species
11. Mayo discovers protein as potential tactic to prevent tumors
Post Your Comments:
*Name:
*Comment:
*Email:


(Date:4/28/2016)... 28, 2016 First quarter 2016:   ... compared with the first quarter of 2015 The gross ... M (loss: 18.8) and the operating margin was 40% (-13) ... Cash flow from operations was SEK 249.9 M (21.2) , ... is unchanged, SEK 7,000-8,500 M. The operating margin for ...
(Date:4/19/2016)... , UAE, April 20, 2016 ... be implemented as a compact web-based "all-in-one" system solution ... the biometric fingerprint reader or the door interface with ... of modern access control systems. The minimal dimensions of ... ID readers into the building installations offer considerable freedom ...
(Date:4/14/2016)... 14, 2016 BioCatch ™, ... today announced the appointment of Eyal Goldwerger ... Goldwerger,s leadership appointment comes at a time ... the deployment of its platform at several of the ... which discerns unique cognitive and physiological factors, is a ...
Breaking Biology News(10 mins):
(Date:5/26/2016)... (PRWEB) , ... May 26, 2016 , ... ... developed by Medistem Panama Inc. at the City of Knowledge in ... tissue-derived mesenchymal stem cells in the US earlier this year following FDA approval ...
(Date:5/25/2016)... ... May 25, 2016 , ... ... delegation at BIO 2016 in San Francisco. Located at booth number 7301, representatives ... to answer questions and discuss the Thai biotechnology and life sciences sector. ...
(Date:5/25/2016)... ... ... Scientists at the University of Athens say they have evidence that the variety of ... could lead to one good one. Surviving Mesothelioma has just posted an article on ... evaluated 98 mesothelioma patients who got a second kind of drug therapy ...
(Date:5/24/2016)... , ... May 24, 2016 , ... ... diabetes, and traumatic injuries, will be accelerated by research at Worcester Polytechnic Institute ... engines of wound healing and tissue regeneration. , The novel method, developed by ...
Breaking Biology Technology: