Developmental stage-dependent effects of cardiac fibroblasts on function of stem cell-derived engineered cardiac tissues.

Journal Article (Journal Article)

We investigated whether the developmental stage of mouse cardiac fibroblasts (CFs) influences the formation and function of engineered cardiac tissues made of mouse embryonic stem cell-derived cardiomyocytes (mESC-CMs). Engineered cardiac tissue patches were fabricated by encapsulating pure mESC-CMs, mESC-CMs + adult CFs, or mESC-CMs + fetal CFs in fibrin-based hydrogel. Tissue patches containing fetal CFs exhibited higher velocity of action potential propagation and contractile force amplitude compared to patches containing adult CFs, while pure mESC-CM patches did not form functional syncytium. The functional improvements in mESC-CM + fetal CF patches were associated with differences in structural remodeling and increased expression of proteins involved in cardiac function. To determine role of paracrine signaling, we cultured pure mESC-CMs within miniature tissue "micro-patches" supplemented with media conditioned by adult or fetal CFs. Fetal CF-conditioned media distinctly enhanced CM spreading and contractile activity, which was shown by pathway inhibitor experiments and Western blot analysis to be mediated via MEK-ERK signaling. In mESC-CM monolayers, CF-conditioned media did not alter CM spreading or MEK-ERK activation. Collectively, our studies show that 3D co-culture of mESC-CMs with embryonic CFs is superior to co-culture with adult CFs for in vitro generation of functional myocardium. Ensuring consistent developmental stages of cardiomyocytes and supporting non-myocytes may be a critical factor for promoting functional maturation of engineered cardiac tissues.

Full Text

Duke Authors

Cited Authors

  • Liau, B; Jackman, CP; Li, Y; Bursac, N

Published Date

  • February 9, 2017

Published In

Volume / Issue

  • 7 /

Start / End Page

  • 42290 -

PubMed ID

  • 28181589

Pubmed Central ID

  • PMC5299411

Electronic International Standard Serial Number (EISSN)

  • 2045-2322

International Standard Serial Number (ISSN)

  • 2045-2322

Digital Object Identifier (DOI)

  • 10.1038/srep42290


  • eng