Comparable calcium handling of human iPSC-derived cardiomyocytes generated by multiple laboratories

J Mol Cell Cardiol. 2015 Aug;85:79-88. doi: 10.1016/j.yjmcc.2015.05.003. Epub 2015 May 14.


Cardiomyocytes (CMs) derived from human induced pluripotent stem cells (hiPSCs) are being increasingly used to model human heart diseases. hiPSC-CMs generated by earlier aggregation-based methods (i.e., embryoid body) often lack functional sarcoplasmic reticulum (SR) Ca stores characteristic of mature mammalian CMs. Newer monolayer-based cardiac differentiation methods (i.e., Matrigel sandwich or small molecule-based differentiation) produce hiPSC-CMs of high purity and yield, but their Ca handling has not been comprehensively investigated. Here, we studied Ca handling and cytosolic Ca buffering properties of hiPSC-CMs generated independently from multiple hiPSC lines at Stanford University, Vanderbilt University and University of Wisconsin-Madison. hiPSC-CMs were cryopreserved at each university. Frozen aliquots were shipped, recovered from cryopreservation, plated at low density and compared 3-5days after plating with acutely-isolated adult rabbit and mouse ventricular CMs. Although hiPSC-CM cell volume was significantly smaller, cell capacitance to cell volume ratio and cytoplasmic Ca buffering were not different from rabbit-CMs. hiPSC-CMs from all three laboratories exhibited robust L-type Ca currents, twitch Ca transients and caffeine-releasable SR Ca stores comparable to adult CMs. Ca transport by sarcoendoplasmic reticulum Ca ATPase (SERCA) and Na/Ca exchanger (NCX) was similar in all hiPSC-CM lines, but slower compared to rabbit-CMs. However, the relative contribution of SERCA and NCX to Ca transport of hiPSC-CMs was comparable to rabbit-CMs. Ca handling maturity of hiPSC-CMs increased from 15 to 21days post-induction. We conclude that hiPSC-CMs generated independently from multiple iPSC lines using monolayer-based methods can be reproducibly recovered from cryopreservation and exhibit comparable and functional SR Ca handling.

Publication types

  • Comparative Study
  • Research Support, N.I.H., Extramural
  • Research Support, U.S. Gov't, Non-P.H.S.

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Calcium / metabolism*
  • Calcium Signaling
  • Cell Differentiation
  • Cells, Cultured
  • Humans
  • Induced Pluripotent Stem Cells / physiology*
  • Mice
  • Myocardial Contraction
  • Myocytes, Cardiac / metabolism*
  • Rabbits
  • Sarcoplasmic Reticulum / metabolism


  • Calcium