Spheroids of cardiomyocytes derived from human-induced pluripotent stem cells improve recovery from myocardial injury in mice

Academic Article


  • The microenvironment of native heart tissue may be better replicated when cardiomyocytes are cultured in three-dimensional clusters (i.e., spher-oids) than in monolayers or as individual cells. Thus, we differentiated human cardiac lineage-induced pluripotent stem cells in cardiomyocytes (hiPSC-CMs) and allowed them to form spheroids and spheroid fusions that were characterized in vitro and evaluated in mice after experimentally induced myocardial infarction (MI). Synchronized contractions were observed within 24 h of spheroid formation, and optical mapping experiments confirmed the presence of both Ca2+ transients and propagating action potentials. In spheroid fusions, the intraspheroid conduction velocity was 7.0 ± 3.8 cm/s on days 1–2 after formation, whereas the conduction velocity between spheroids increased significantly (P = 0.003) from 0.8 ± 1.1 cm/s on days 1–2 to 3.3 ± 1.4 cm/s on day 7. For the murine MI model, five-spheroid fusions (200,000 hiPSC-CMs/spheroid) were embedded in a fibrin patch and the patch was transplanted over the site of infarction. Later (4 wk), echocardiographic measurements of left ventricular ejection fraction and fractional shortening were significantly greater in patch-treated animals than in animals that recovered without the patch, and the engraftment rate was 25.6% or 30% when evaluated histologically or via bioluminescence imaging, respectively. The exosomes released from the spheroid patch seemed to increase cardiac function. In conclusion, our results established the feasibility of using hiPSC-CM spheroids and spheroid fusions for cardiac tissue engineering, and, when fibrin patches containing hiPSC-CM spheroid fusions were evaluated in a murine MI model, the engraftment rate was much higher than the rates we have achieved via the direct intramyocardial injection.
  • Digital Object Identifier (doi)

    Pubmed Id

  • 15182873
  • Author List

  • Mattapally S; Zhu W; Fast VG; Gao L; Worley C; Kannappan R; Borovjagin AV; Zhang J
  • Start Page

  • H327
  • End Page

  • H339
  • Volume

  • 315
  • Issue

  • 2