The post-natal heart contains a myocardial stem cell population

FEBS Lett. 2002 Oct 23;530(1-3):239-43. doi: 10.1016/s0014-5793(02)03477-4.


The recent identification of stem cell pools in a variety of unexpected tissue sources has raised the possibility that a pluripotent stem cell population may reside in the myocardium and contribute to the post-natal growth of this tissue. Here, we demonstrate that the post-natal myocardium contains a resident verapamil-sensitive side population (SP), with stem cell-like activity. When growth of the post-natal heart was attenuated through over-expression of a dominant negative cardiac transcription factor (MEF2C), the resident SP cell population was subject to activation, followed by a consequent depletion. In addition, cardiac SP cells are capable of fusion with other cell types, but do not adopt the corresponding gene expression profile. These observations suggest that a responsive stem cell pool resides in the adult myocardium, and may influence adaptation of the post-natal heart.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Mice
  • Mice, Transgenic
  • Myocardium / cytology*
  • Stem Cells / cytology*