The mechanical coupling of adult marrow stromal stem cells during cardiac regeneration assessed in a 2-D co-culture model

Mani T. Valarmathi, John W. Fuseler, Richard L. Goodwin, Jeffrey M. Davis, Jay D. Potts

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Postnatal cardiomyocytes undergo terminal differentiation and a restricted number of human cardiomyocytes retain the ability to divide and regenerate in response to ischemic injury. However, whether these neo-cardiomyocytes are derived from endogenous population of resident cardiac stem cells or from the exogenous double assurance population of resident bone marrow-derived stem cells that populate the damaged myocardium is unresolved and under intense investigation. The vital challenge is to ameliorate and/or regenerate the damaged myocardium. This can be achieved by stimulating proliferation of native quiescent cardiomyocytes and/or cardiac stem cell, or by recruiting exogenous autologous or allogeneic cells such as fetal or embryonic cardiomyocyte progenitors or bone marrow-derived stromal stem cells. The prerequisites are that these neo-cardiomyocytes must have the ability to integrate well within the native myocardium and must exhibit functional synchronization. Adult bone marrow stromal cells (BMSCs) have been shown to differentiate into cardiomyocyte-like cells both in vitro and in vivo. As a result, BMSCs may potentially play an essential role in cardiac repair and regeneration, but this concept requires further validation. In this report, we have provided compelling evidence that functioning cardiac tissue can be generated by the interaction of multipotent BMSCs with embryonic cardiac myocytes (ECMs) in two-dimensional (2-D) co-cultures. The differentiating BMSCs were induced to undergo cardiomyogenic differentiation pathway and were able to express unequivocal electromechanical coupling and functional synchronization with ECMs. Our 2-D co-culture system provides a useful in vitro model to elucidate various molecular mechanisms underpinning the integration and orderly maturation and differentiation of BMSCs into neo-cardiomyocytes during myocardial repair and regeneration.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)2834-2850
Number of pages17
Issue number11
StatePublished - Apr 2011


  • Bone marrow stromal cells
  • Cardiac tissue engineering
  • Dedifferentiation
  • Embryonic cardiac myocytes
  • Mesenchymal stem cells
  • Myocardial regeneration

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Bioengineering
  • Ceramics and Composites
  • Biophysics
  • Biomaterials
  • Mechanics of Materials

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