Strategies for directing the differentiation of stem cells into the cardiomyogenic lineage in vitro

Heng, Boon Chin; Haider, Husnain Kh; Sim, Eugene Kwang-Wei; Cao, Tong; Ng, Soon Chye
April 2004
Cardiovascular Research;Apr2004, Vol. 62 Issue 1, p34
Academic Journal
Most studies on stem cell transplantation therapy on myocardially infarcted animal models and phase-I human clinical trials have focused on the use of undifferentiated stem cells. There is a strong possibility that some degree of cardiomyogenic differentiation of stem cells in vitro prior to transplantation would result in higher engraftment efficiency, as well as enhanced myocardial regeneration and recovery of heart function. Additionally, this may also alleviate the probability of spontaneous differentiation of stem cells into undesired lineages and reduces the risk of teratoma formation, in the case of embryonic stem cells. The development of efficient protocols for directing the cardiomyogenic differentiation of stem cells in vitro will also provide a useful model for molecular studies and genetic manipulation. This review therefore critically examines the various techniques that could possibly be used to direct and control the cardiomyogenic differentiation of stem cells in vitro.


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