Abstract P092: Simplified Monolayer Differentiation of Human-Induced Pluripotent Stem Cells to Functional Cardiac Myocytes
Background: Human induced pluripotent stem cells (hiPSCs) are an important model for cardiovascular research, drug discovery, and translational research applications. Commonly used methods to direct iPSCs to cardiac myocytes can be technically demanding. Prior studies have shown that both VEGF and endothelial cells promote differentiation of stem cells to cardiac myocytes. Furthermore, DMEM/F12 with 10% fetal calf serum (DMEM-FCS) has been shown to induce cardiac myocytes in an embryoid body (EB) system. The objective of this study was to determine if differentiation of hiPSCs using conditions that support endothelial cell differentiation would promote cardiac myocyte colony formation.
Methods: Two hiPSC lines derived using non-genome integrating methods were maintained on Matrigel-coated surfaces under serum free conditions in mTeSR1 medium. We performed a comparison of monolayer myocyte differentiation efficiency using DMEM-FCS and endothelial cell medium (EC). Cells were maintained in iPSC medium (mTeSR1) as a negative control. The number of beating colonies derived under each growth condition was determined using phase microscopy at 4 weeks. Cardiac myocyte commitment was characterized using an α-MHC-GFP reporter vector and electrophysiologic action potentials on isolated beating colonies.
Results: Differentiation of human iPSCs in EC medium induced substantial numbers of beating colonies 4 weeks after differentiation (2.29 ± 0.3 beating colonies/cm2 culture area, n=42). Unlike EB models of myocyte differentiation, no beating clusters were observed in our monolayer system with DMEM-FCS medium (n=14) (p<0.01). As expected, mTESR1 (n=12) did not induce any cardiac myocytes. All beating cell colonies expressed GFP driven by the cardiac specific α-MHC promoter. Electrophysiological studies confirmed the presence of action potentials with ventricular phenotypes.
Conclusions: Differentiation of human iPSCs under monolayer conditions that support endothelial cells facilitates efficient induction of functional human cardiac myocytes. Our findings simplify the differentiation of iPSCs to cardiac myocytes, making research with human iPSCs more accessible to a broad range of cardiovascular investigators.
- © 2011 by American Heart Association, Inc.