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      Cardiomyocyte maturation: advances in knowledge and implications for regenerative medicine

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          Abstract

          Our knowledge of pluripotent stem cell (PSC) biology has advanced to the point where we now can generate most cells of the human body in the laboratory. PSC-derived cardiomyocytes can be generated routinely with high yield and purity for disease research and drug development, and these cells are now gradually entering the clinical research phase for the testing of heart regeneration therapies. However, a major hurdle for their applications is the immature state of these cardiomyocytes. In this Review, we describe the structural and functional properties of cardiomyocytes and present the current approaches to mature PSC-derived cardiomyocytes. To date, the greatest success in maturation of PSC-derived cardiomyocytes has been with transplantation into the heart in animal models and the engineering of 3D heart tissues with electromechanical conditioning. In conventional 2D cell culture, biophysical stimuli such as mechanical loading, electrical stimulation and nanotopology cues all induce substantial maturation, particularly of the contractile cytoskeleton. Metabolism has emerged as a potent means to control maturation with unexpected effects on electrical and mechanical function. Different interventions induce distinct facets of maturation, suggesting that activating multiple signalling networks might lead to increased maturation. Despite considerable progress, we are still far from being able to generate PSC-derived cardiomyocytes with adult-like phenotypes in vitro. Future progress will come from identifying the developmental drivers of maturation and leveraging them to create more mature cardiomyocytes for research and regenerative medicine.

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          Most cited references143

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          Mechanisms of physiological and pathological cardiac hypertrophy

          Cardiomyocytes exit the cell cycle and become terminally differentiated soon after birth. Therefore, in the adult heart, instead of an increase in cardiomyocyte number, individual cardiomyocytes increase in size, and the heart develops hypertrophy to reduce ventricular wall stress and maintain function and efficiency in response to an increased workload. There are two types of hypertrophy: physiological and pathological. Hypertrophy initially develops as an adaptive response to physiological and pathological stimuli, but pathological hypertrophy generally progresses to heart failure. Each form of hypertrophy is regulated by distinct cellular signalling pathways. In the past decade, a growing number of studies have suggested that previously unrecognized mechanisms, including cellular metabolism, proliferation, non-coding RNAs, immune responses, translational regulation, and epigenetic modifications, positively or negatively regulate cardiac hypertrophy. In this Review, we summarize the underlying molecular mechanisms of physiological and pathological hypertrophy, with a particular emphasis on the role of metabolic remodelling in both forms of cardiac hypertrophy, and we discuss how the current knowledge on cardiac hypertrophy can be applied to develop novel therapeutic strategies to prevent or reverse pathological hypertrophy.
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            Differentiation of embryonic stem cells to clinically relevant populations: lessons from embryonic development.

            The potential to generate virtually any differentiated cell type from embryonic stem cells (ESCs) offers the possibility to establish new models of mammalian development and to create new sources of cells for regenerative medicine. To realize this potential, it is essential to be able to control ESC differentiation and to direct the development of these cells along specific pathways. Embryology has offered important insights into key pathways regulating ESC differentiation, resulting in advances in modeling gastrulation in culture and in the efficient induction of endoderm, mesoderm, and ectoderm and many of their downstream derivatives. This has led to the identification of new multipotential progenitors for the hematopoietic, neural, and cardiovascular lineages and to the development of protocols for the efficient generation of a broad spectrum of cell types including hematopoietic cells, cardiomyocytes, oligodendrocytes, dopamine neurons, and immature pancreatic beta cells. The next challenge will be to demonstrate the functional utility of these cells, both in vitro and in preclinical models of human disease.
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              The oxygen-rich postnatal environment induces cardiomyocyte cell-cycle arrest through DNA damage response.

              The mammalian heart has a remarkable regenerative capacity for a short period of time after birth, after which the majority of cardiomyocytes permanently exit cell cycle. We sought to determine the primary postnatal event that results in cardiomyocyte cell-cycle arrest. We hypothesized that transition to the oxygen-rich postnatal environment is the upstream signal that results in cell-cycle arrest of cardiomyocytes. Here, we show that reactive oxygen species (ROS), oxidative DNA damage, and DNA damage response (DDR) markers significantly increase in the heart during the first postnatal week. Intriguingly, postnatal hypoxemia, ROS scavenging, or inhibition of DDR all prolong the postnatal proliferative window of cardiomyocytes, whereas hyperoxemia and ROS generators shorten it. These findings uncover a protective mechanism that mediates cardiomyocyte cell-cycle arrest in exchange for utilization of oxygen-dependent aerobic metabolism. Reduction of mitochondrial-dependent oxidative stress should be an important component of cardiomyocyte proliferation-based therapeutic approaches. Copyright © 2014 Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.
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                Author and article information

                Journal
                Nature Reviews Cardiology
                Nat Rev Cardiol
                Springer Science and Business Media LLC
                1759-5002
                1759-5010
                February 3 2020
                Article
                10.1038/s41569-019-0331-x
                7239749
                32015528
                2e281e9e-2220-4caa-9622-15270ccf12c0
                © 2020

                http://www.springer.com/tdm

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