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Current Pharmaceutical Design


ISSN (Print): 1381-6128
ISSN (Online): 1873-4286

Cardiac Applications for Human Pluripotent Stem Cells

Author(s): Yuji Shiba, Kip D. Hauch and Michael A. Laflamme

Volume 15, Issue 24, 2009

Page: [2791 - 2806] Pages: 16

DOI: 10.2174/138161209788923804

Price: $65


Human embryonic stem cells (hESCs) and induced pluripotent stem cells (hiPSCs) can self-renew indefinitely, while maintaining the capacity to differentiate into useful somatic cell types, including cardiomyocytes. As such, these stem cell types represent an essentially inexhaustible source of committed human cardiomyocytes of potential use in cellbased cardiac therapies, high-throughput screening and safety testing of new drugs, and modeling human heart development. These stem cell-derived cardiomyocytes have an unambiguous cardiac phenotype and proliferate robustly both in vitro and in vivo. Recent transplantation studies in preclinical models have provided exciting proof-of-principle for their use in infarct repair and in the formation of a “biological pacemaker”. While these successes give reason for cautious optimism, major challenges remain to the successful application of hESCs (or hiPSCs) to cardiac repair, including the need for preparations of high cardiac purity, improved methods of delivery, and approaches to overcome immune rejection and other causes of graft cell death. In this review, we describe the phenotype of hESC- and hiPSC-derived cardiomyocytes, the state of preclinical transplantation studies with these cells, and potential approaches to overcome the aforementioned hurdles.

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