Non-cell autonomous cues for enhanced functionality of human embryonic stem cell-derived cardiomyocytes via maturation of sarcolemmal and mitochondrial K ATP channels

Sci Rep. 2016 Sep 28;6:34154. doi: 10.1038/srep34154.


Human embryonic stem cells (hESCs) is a potential unlimited ex vivo source of ventricular (V) cardiomyocytes (CMs), but hESC-VCMs and their engineered tissues display immature traits. In adult VCMs, sarcolemmal (sarc) and mitochondrial (mito) ATP-sensitive potassium (KATP) channels play crucial roles in excitability and cardioprotection. In this study, we aim to investigate the biological roles and use of sarcKATP and mitoKATP in hESC-VCM. We showed that SarcIK, ATP in single hESC-VCMs was dormant under baseline conditions, but became markedly activated by cyanide (CN) or the known opener P1075 with a current density that was ~8-fold smaller than adult; These effects were reversible upon washout or the addition of GLI or HMR1098. Interestingly, sarcIK, ATP displayed a ~3-fold increase after treatment with hypoxia (5% O2). MitoIK, ATP was absent in hESC-VCMs. However, the thyroid hormone T3 up-regulated mitoIK, ATP, conferring diazoxide protective effect on T3-treated hESC-VCMs. When assessed using a multi-cellular engineered 3D ventricular cardiac micro-tissue (hvCMT) system, T3 substantially enhanced the developed tension by 3-folds. Diazoxide also attenuated the decrease in contractility induced by simulated ischemia (1% O2). We conclude that hypoxia and T3 enhance the functionality of hESC-VCMs and their engineered tissues by selectively acting on sarc and mitoIK, ATP.