Human Embryonic or pluripotent stem cells hold many promises in regenerative medicine. They also provide the scientific community with powerful models of early human development including cardiogenesis under normal or pathological (congenital and genetic diseases) situations. Furthermore their cardiac derivatives turn out to be very useful to study human cardiac electrophysiology, pharmacology or cardiac toxicology. The current overview provides the basic knowledge on developmental biology of the heart which can be applied to stem cell research to study early cardiogenesis. We summarize both the cardiogenic transcriptional network and the role of morphogens involved in early cardiogenesis. We review protocols of cardiac differentiation of pluripotent stem cells so far available. We finally discuss the translation of basic stem cell research into clinical applications.
Keywords: Cardiogenesis, development, heart, Oct4, progenitors, regenerative medecine, stem cells
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