Instructor, Cardiovascular Institute
Rationale: Viral myocarditis is a life-threatening illness that may lead to heart failure or cardiac arrhythmias. A major causative agent for viral myocarditis is the B3 strain of coxsackievirus, a positive-sense RNA enterovirus. However, human cardiac tissues are difficult to procure in sufficient enough quantities for studying the mechanisms of cardiac-specific viral infection. Objective: This study examined whether human induced pluripotent stem cell-derived cardiomyocytes (hiPSC-CMs) could be used to model the pathogenic processes of coxsackievirus-induced viral myocarditis and to screen antiviral therapeutics for efficacy. Methods and Results: Human iPSC-CMs were infected with a luciferase-expressing coxsackievirus B3 strain (CVB3-Luc). Brightfield microscopy, immunofluorescence, and calcium imaging were utilized to characterize virally-infected hiPSC-CMs for alterations in cellular morphology and calcium handling. Viral proliferation in hiPSC-CMs was quantified using bioluminescence imaging. Antiviral compounds including interferon beta 1 (IFNβ1), ribavirin, pyrrolidine dithiocarbamate, and fluoxetine were tested for their capacity to abrogate CVB3-Luc proliferation in hiPSC-CMs in vitro. The ability of these compounds to reduce CVB3-Luc proliferation in hiPSC-CMs was consistent with reported drug effects in previous studies. Mechanistic analyses via gene expression profiling of hiPSC-CMs infected with CVB3-Luc revealed an activation of viral RNA and protein clearance pathways after IFNβ1 treatment. Conclusions: This study demonstrates that hiPSC-CMs express the coxsackievirus and adenovirus receptor, are susceptible to coxsackievirus infection, and can be used to predict antiviral drug efficacy. Our results suggest that the hiPSC-CM/CVB3-Luc assay is a sensitive platform that can screen novel antiviral therapeutics for their effectiveness in a high-throughput fashion.
View details for DOI 10.1161/CIRCRESAHA.115.303810
View details for PubMedID 25015077
Existing methods for human induced pluripotent stem cell (hiPSC) cardiac differentiation are efficient but require complex, undefined medium constituents that hinder further elucidation of the molecular mechanisms of cardiomyogenesis. Using hiPSCs derived under chemically defined conditions on synthetic matrices, we systematically developed an optimized cardiac differentiation strategy, using a chemically defined medium consisting of just three components: the basal medium RPMI 1640, L-ascorbic acid 2-phosphate and rice-derived recombinant human albumin. Along with small molecule-based induction of differentiation, this protocol produced contractile sheets of up to 95% TNNT2(+) cardiomyocytes at a yield of up to 100 cardiomyocytes for every input pluripotent cell and was effective in 11 hiPSC lines tested. This chemically defined platform for cardiac specification of hiPSCs will allow the elucidation of cardiomyocyte macromolecular and metabolic requirements and will provide a minimal system for the study of maturation and subtype specification.
View details for DOI 10.1038/nmeth.2999
View details for PubMedID 24930130
A major research focus in the field of cardiovascular medicine is the prospect of using stem cells and progenitor cells for cardiac regeneration. With the advent of induced pluripotent stem cell (iPSC) technology, major efforts are also underway to use iPSCs to model heart disease, to screen for new drugs, and to test candidate drugs for cardiotoxicity. Here, we discuss recent advances in the exciting fields of stem cells and cardiovascular disease.
View details for DOI 10.1126/scitranslmed.3008921
View details for PubMedID 24898747
Long-QT syndromes (LQTS) are mostly autosomal-dominant congenital disorders associated with a 1:1000 mutation frequency, cardiac arrest, and sudden death. We sought to use cardiomyocytes derived from human-induced pluripotency stem cells (hiPSCs) as an in vitro model to develop and evaluate gene-based therapeutics for the treatment of LQTS.We produced LQTS-type 2 (LQT2) hiPSC cardiomyocytes carrying a KCNH2 c.G1681A mutation in a IKr ion-channel pore, which caused impaired glycosylation and channel transport to cell surface. Allele-specific RNA interference (RNAi) directed towards the mutated KCNH2 mRNA caused knockdown, while leaving the wild-type mRNA unaffected. Electrophysiological analysis of patient-derived LQT2 hiPSC cardiomyocytes treated with mutation-specific siRNAs showed normalized action potential durations (APDs) and K(+) currents with the concurrent rescue of spontaneous and drug-induced arrhythmias (presented as early-afterdepolarizations).These findings provide in vitro evidence that allele-specific RNAi can rescue diseased phenotype in LQTS cardiomyocytes. This is a potentially novel route for the treatment of many autosomal-dominant-negative disorders, including those of the heart.
View details for DOI 10.1093/eurheartj/eht067
View details for Web of Science ID 000335813500016
View details for PubMedID 23470493
Cardiac regeneration strategies and de novo generation of cardiomyocytes have long been significant areas of research interest in cardiovascular medicine. In this review, we outline a variety of common cell sources and methods used to regenerate cardiomyocytes and highlight the important role that key Circulation Research articles have played in this flourishing field.
View details for DOI 10.1161/CIRCRESAHA.113.302895
View details for PubMedID 24385505