Differentiation of adult rat cardiac myocytes in cell culture.
Cardiac myocytes isolated from adult rat hearts were grown on laminin coated culture dishes for more than a month. During this time, the cells underwent a morphological transformation which has also been referred to by others as cell remodeling (Guo J-X, Jacobson SL, Brown DL: Cell Mot Cytoskeleton 1986;6:291-304). This results in a change in myocyte morphology from its typical in vivo cylindrical shape to one which is more pleiomorphic. Despite the long-term change in morphology, myocytes expressed for differing lengths of time several aspects of the adult phenotype as evidenced by the following: 1) maintenance of cylindrical shape and/or evident cross-striations for the first 24-48 hours in culture, 2) reappearance of cross-striations during the second week in culture, 3) little or no spontaneous contractility for the first 4 days in culture, 4) expression of only the V1 isoform of myosin for at least 7 days, and 5) altered myosin isoform expression in response to changes in environmental conditions. These factors taken together suggest that in culture the adult cardiac myocyte remains a highly differentiated cell (as opposed to possible dedifferentiation) and maintains many of its previous in vivo characteristics. Such highly differentiated adult cells should be suitable as an in vitro system for studying the direct cellular effects of factors which regulate growth and differentiation of the in vivo heart.
- Copyright © 1989 by American Heart Association