Donor Stem Cells Improve Cardiac Function

After a heart attack, monkeys given induced pluripotent stem cell–derived cardiomyocytes show more regeneration in the organ, but with risks.

Oct 12, 2016
Kerry Grens

WIKIMEDIA, SHAWN ALLENCardiac muscle cells derived from induced pluripotent stem cells (iPSCs) and injected into monkeys helped the animals’ hearts recover from a heart attack, according to a study published yesterday (October 10) in Nature. The iPSCs came from donor monkeys who were immune-matched.

Although cardiac function improved in the monkeys, they developed arrhythmia, “typically within the first four weeks,” study coauthor Yuji Shiba of Shinshu University in Japan told ResearchGate. “However, this post-transplant arrhythmia seems to be transient and non-lethal. All five recipients of iPSC-[cardiomyocytes] survived without any abnormal behavior for 12 weeks, even during the arrhythmia. So I think we can manage this side effect in clinic.”

In 2014, Charles Murry at the University of Washington and colleagues observed cardiac regeneration after they injected monkey hearts with cardiomyocytes derived from human embryonic stem cells. The researchers also observed non-fatal arrhythmias after the treatment.

Shiba’s team took fibroblasts from the donor monkeys, converted them to iPSCs, differentiated them into cardiomyocytes, and then injected the cells into the hearts of five monkeys that had been subjected to a heart attack. “The grafted cardiomyocytes survived for 12 weeks with no evidence of immune rejection in monkeys treated with clinically relevant doses of methylprednisolone and tacrolimus, and showed electrical coupling with host cardiomyocytes,” Shiba and colleagues wrote in their report.

“They strengthen the case that a bank of pre-prepared matched [cells] could be used to treat patients, without relying on the long process of reprogramming and differentiating the patient’s own cells,” Sian Harding of Imperial College London told The Guardian.

Numerous clinical trials are underway to test the efficacy of cell therapies to repair injured heart tissue. For the most part, these rely on stem cells harvested from donors or the patients themselves, not cells that are reprogrammed into cardiocymocytes first.

September 2018

The Muscle Issue

The dynamic tissue reveals its secrets


Sponsored Product Updates

StemExpress LeukopakâNow Available in Frozen Format

StemExpress LeukopakâNow Available in Frozen Format

StemExpress, a Folsom, California based leading supplier of human biospecimens, announces the release of frozen Peripheral Blood Leukopaks. Leukopaks provide an enriched source of peripheral blood mononuclear cells (PBMCs) with low granulocyte and red blood cells that can be used in a variety of downstream cell-based applications.

New Antifade Mounting Media from Vector Laboratories Enhances Immunofluorescence Applications

New Antifade Mounting Media from Vector Laboratories Enhances Immunofluorescence Applications

Vector Laboratories, a leader in the development and manufacture of labeling and detection reagents for biomedical research, introduces VECTASHIELD® Vibrance™ – antifade mounting media that delivers significant improvements to the immunofluorescence workflow.

Enabling Genomics-Guided Precision Medicine

Enabling Genomics-Guided Precision Medicine

Download this eBook from Qiagen to learn more about the promise of precision medicine and how QCITM Interpret can help deliver better care with better knowledge.

Best Practices for Sample Preparation and Lipid Extraction from Various Samples

Best Practices for Sample Preparation and Lipid Extraction from Various Samples

Download this white paper from Bertin Technologies to learn how to extract and analyze lipid samples from various models!