Prof. Dr. med. Bernd K. Fleischmann
Institut für Physiologie firstname.lastname@example.org View member: Prof. Dr. med. Bernd K. Fleischmann
International journal of molecular sciences
Most cardiomyocytes (CMs) in the adult mammalian heart are either binucleated or contain a single polyploid nucleus. Recent studies have shown that polyploidy in CMs plays an important role as an adaptive response to physiological demands and environmental stress and correlates with poor cardiac regenerative ability after injury. However, knowledge about the functional properties of polyploid CMs is limited. In this study, we generated tetraploid pluripotent stem cells (PSCs) by fusion of murine embryonic stem cells (ESCs) and somatic cells isolated from bone marrow or spleen and performed a comparative analysis of the electrophysiological properties of tetraploid fusion-derived PSCs and diploid ESC-derived CMs. Fusion-derived PSCs exhibited characteristics of genuine ESCs and contained a near-tetraploid genome. Ploidy features and marker expression were also retained during the differentiation of fusion-derived cells. Fusion-derived PSCs gave rise to CMs, which were similar to their diploid ESC counterparts in terms of their expression of typical cardiospecific markers, sarcomeric organization, action potential parameters, response to pharmacologic stimulation with various drugs, and expression of functional ion channels. These results suggest that the state of ploidy does not significantly affect the structural and electrophysiological properties of murine PSC-derived CMs. These results extend our knowledge of the functional properties of polyploid CMs and contribute to a better understanding of their biological role in the adult heart.