Abstract 250: Adult Cardiac Stem Cells regulation by microRNAs
In recent years stem and progenitor cells have been identified in the heart, changing our understanding and therapeutic approach of heart disease. These cells can proliferate and differentiate in vitro into beating cardiomyocytes, endothelial and vascular smooth muscle cells, providing the potential for tissue regeneration and repair.
microRNAs (miRs) have been identified as master switches controlling proliferation and differentiation, and in particular as key regulators of stem cells and cardiac development and function. Modulation of miR-regulated gene expression networks holds the potential to control cell fate and proliferation, with predictable biotechnological and therapeutic applications.
We have characterized the expression profile of a subset of 100 miRs with reported functions in stem cell and tissue differentiation in mouse Sca1+ cardiac progenitor cells (CPCs). CPC miR expression profiles were compared with bone marrow mesenchymal stem cells (MSCs) and mouse embryonic heart (E=9) to obtain insights into the origins and function of this rare cell population. Within the miR panel that was studied, a subset with relative high expression levels in CPCs was identified, which may act as negative regulators of differentiation and proliferation. Although the overall expression profile of Sca1+ CPCs is closer to BM-MSCs, the most highly expressed miRs in CPCs are distinctive and predicted to target key genes involved in the control of cell proliferation and adhesion, vascular function and cardiomyocyte differentiation.
Our results provide novel insights into the gene expression networks active in CPCs, which will now be explored in functional studies to identify key regulators of proliferation and differentiation.
- © 2013 by American Heart Association, Inc.