Cardiomyocytes from human pluripotent stem cells in regenerative medicine and drug discovery

Trends Pharmacol Sci. 2009 Oct;30(10):536-45. doi: 10.1016/ Epub 2009 Sep 15.


Stem cells derived from pre-implantation human embryos or from somatic cells by reprogramming are pluripotent and self-renew indefinitely in culture. Pluripotent stem cells are unique in being able to differentiate to any cell type of the human body. Differentiation towards the cardiac lineage has attracted significant attention, initially with a strong focus on regenerative medicine. Although an important research area, the heart has proven challenging to repair by cardiomyocyte replacement. However, the ability to reprogramme adult cells to pluripotent stem cells and genetically manipulate stem cells presented opportunities to develop models of human disease. The availability of human cardiomyocytes from stem cell sources is expected to accelerate the discovery of cardiac drugs and safety pharmacology by offering more clinically relevant human culture models than presently available. Here we review the state-of-the-art using stem cell-derived human cardiomyocytes in drug discovery, drug safety pharmacology, and regenerative medicine.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't
  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Biomedical Research*
  • Cell Differentiation
  • Cells, Cultured
  • Drug Discovery / methods*
  • Humans
  • Myocytes, Cardiac / cytology
  • Myocytes, Cardiac / metabolism*
  • Myocytes, Cardiac / transplantation
  • Pluripotent Stem Cells* / cytology
  • Pluripotent Stem Cells* / metabolism
  • Regenerative Medicine / methods