TGFβ-dependent epithelial-to-mesenchymal transition is required to generate cardiospheres from human adult heart biopsies.

Abstract

Autologous cardiac progenitor cells (CPCs) isolated as cardiospheres (CSps) represent a promising candidate for cardiac regenerative therapy. A better understanding of the origin and mechanisms underlying human CSps formation and maturation is undoubtedly required to enhance their cardiomyogenic potential. Epithelial-to-mesenchymal transition (EMT) is a key morphogenetic process that is implicated in the acquisition of stem cell-like properties in different adult tissues, and it is activated in the epicardium after ischemic injury to the heart. We investigated whether EMT is involved in the formation and differentiation of human CSps, revealing that an up-regulation of the expression of EMT-related genes accompanies CSps formation that is relative to primary explant-derived cells and CSp-derived cells grown in a monolayer. EMT and CSps formation is enhanced in the presence of transforming growth factor β1 (TGFβ1) and drastically blocked by the type I TGFβ-receptor inhibitor SB431452, indicating that TGFβ-dependent EMT is essential for the formation of these niche-like 3D-multicellular clusters. Since TGFβ is activated in the myocardium in response to injury, our data suggest that CSps formation mimics an adaptive mechanism that could potentially be enhanced to increase in vivo or ex vivo regenerative potential of adult CPCs.

DOI: 10.1089/scd.2012.0277
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@article{Forte2012TGFdependentET, title={TGFβ-dependent epithelial-to-mesenchymal transition is required to generate cardiospheres from human adult heart biopsies.}, author={Elvira Forte and Fabio Miraldi and Isotta Chimenti and Francesco Angelini and Ann Zeuner and Alessandro Giacomello and Mark Mercola and Elisa Messina}, journal={Stem cells and development}, year={2012}, volume={21 17}, pages={3081-90} }