iCMs: induced CardioMyocytes

Direct Reprogramming of Fibroblasts into Functional Cardiomyocytes by Defined Factors

Masaki Ieda, Ji-Dong Fu, Paul Delgado-Olguin, Vasanth Vedantham, Yohei Hayashi, Benoit G. Bruneau, Deepak Srivastava

Cell, Volume 142, Issue 3, 375-386, 6 August 2010, doi: 10.1016/j.cell.2010.07.002

That’s exactly the kind of papers I love to read on Friday, at 19:10, with the last labcoffee of the WE, with the music of the Vibratome slicing a kidney in thin sections. Free access. And there is a PaperClip with it.


The reprogramming of fibroblasts to induced pluripotent stem cells (iPSCs) raises the possibility that a somatic cell could be reprogrammed to an alternative differentiated fate without first becoming a stem/progenitor cell. A large pool of fibroblasts exists in the postnatal heart, yet no single “master regulator” of direct cardiac reprogramming has been identified. Here, we report that a combination of three developmental transcription factors (i.e., Gata4, Mef2c, and Tbx5) rapidly and efficiently reprogrammed postnatal cardiac or dermal fibroblasts directly into differentiated cardiomyocyte-like cells. Induced cardiomyocytes expressed cardiac-specific markers, had a global gene expression profile similar to cardiomyocytes, and contracted spontaneously. Fibroblasts transplanted into mouse hearts one day after transduction of the three factors also differentiated into cardiomyocyte-like cells. We believe these findings demonstrate that functional cardiomyocytes can be directly reprogrammed from differentiated somatic cells by defined factors. Reprogramming of endogenous or explanted fibroblasts might provide a source of cardiomyocytes for regenerative approaches.

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