Partial Reprogramming of Pluripotent Stem Cell-Derived Cardiomyocytes into Neurons

Sci Rep. 2017 Mar 22;7:44840. doi: 10.1038/srep44840.

Abstract

Direct reprogramming of somatic cells has been demonstrated, however, it is unknown whether electrophysiologically-active somatic cells derived from separate germ layers can be interconverted. We demonstrate that partial direct reprogramming of mesoderm-derived cardiomyocytes into neurons is feasible, generating cells exhibiting structural and electrophysiological properties of both cardiomyocytes and neurons. Human and mouse pluripotent stem cell-derived CMs (PSC-CMs) were transduced with the neurogenic transcription factors Brn2, Ascl1, Myt1l and NeuroD. We found that CMs adopted neuronal morphologies as early as day 3 post-transduction while still retaining a CM gene expression profile. At week 1 post-transduction, we found that reprogrammed CMs expressed neuronal markers such as Tuj1, Map2, and NCAM. At week 3 post-transduction, mature neuronal markers such as vGlut and synapsin were observed. With single-cell qPCR, we temporally examined CM gene expression and observed increased expression of neuronal markers Dcx, Map2, and Tubb3. Patch-clamp analysis confirmed the neuron-like electrophysiological profile of reprogrammed CMs. This study demonstrates that PSC-CMs are amenable to partial neuronal conversion, yielding a population of cells exhibiting features of both neurons and CMs.

Publication types

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

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Biomarkers
  • Cell Differentiation*
  • Cell Line
  • Cellular Reprogramming*
  • Electrophysiological Phenomena
  • Embryonic Stem Cells
  • Fluorescent Antibody Technique
  • Gene Expression
  • Genes, Reporter
  • Mice
  • Myocytes, Cardiac / cytology*
  • Myocytes, Cardiac / metabolism*
  • Neurons / cytology*
  • Neurons / metabolism*
  • Phenotype
  • Pluripotent Stem Cells / cytology*
  • Pluripotent Stem Cells / metabolism*
  • Transduction, Genetic

Substances

  • Biomarkers