Mature mammalian hearts possess very limited regenerative potential. The irreversible cardiomyocyte loss after heart injury can lead to heart failure and death. Pluripotent stem cells (PSCs) can differentiate into cardiomyocytes for cardiac repair, but there are obstacles to their clinical application. Among these obstacles is their potential for post-transplant rejection. Although human amniotic fluid-derived stem cells (hAFSCs) are immune privileged, they cannot induce cardiac differentiation. Thus, we generated hAFSC-derived induced PSCs (hAFSC-iPSCs) and used a Wnt-modulating differentiation protocol for the cardiac differentiation of hAFSC-iPSCs. In vitro studies using flow cytometry, immunofluorescence staining, and patch-clamp electrophysiological study, were performed to identify the characteristics of hAFSC-iPSC-derived cardiomyocytes (hAFSC-iPSC-CMs). We injected hAFSC-iPSC-CMs intramuscularly into rat infarcted hearts to evaluate the therapeutic potential of hAFSC-iPSC-CM transplantation. At day 21 of differentiation, the hAFSC-iPSC-CMs expressed cardiac-specific marker (cardiac troponin T), presented cardiomyocyte-specific electrophysiological properties, and contracted spontaneously. Importantly, these hAFSC-iPSC-CMs demonstrated low major histocompatibility complex (MHC) class I antigen expression and the absence of MHC class II antigens, indicating their low immunogenicity. The intramyocardial transplantation of hAFSC-iPSC-CMs restored cardiac function, partially remuscularized the injured region, and reduced fibrosis in the rat infarcted hearts. Therefore, hAFSC-iPSCs are potential candidates for the repair of infarcted myocardium.
All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes
- Molecular Biology
- Computer Science Applications
- Physical and Theoretical Chemistry
- Organic Chemistry
- Inorganic Chemistry