Cell labeling technologies are required to monitor the fate of transplanted cells in vivo and to select target cells for the observation of certain changes in vitro. Human induced pluripotent stem cell-derived cardiomyocytes (hiPSC-CMs) have been transplanted for the treatment of heart injuries or used in vitro for preclinical cardiac safety assessments. Cardiomyocyte (CM) labeling has been used in these processes to facilitate target cell monitoring. However, the functional effect of the labeling agent on hiPSC-CMs has not been studied. Therefore, we investigated the effects of labeling agents on CM cellular functions. 3'-Dioctadecyloxacarbocyanine perchlorate (DiO), quantum dots (QDs), and a DNA plasmid expressing EGFP using Lipo2K were used to label hiPSC-CMs. We conclude that the hiPSC-CM labeling with DiO and QDs does not induce arrhythmogenic effects but rather improves the mRNA expression of cardiac ion channels and Ca2＋ influx by L-type Ca2＋ channels. Thus, DiO and QD labeling agents may be useful tools to monitor transplanted CMs, and further in vivo influences of the labeling agents should be investigated in the future.
Keywords: Alternative model; Cardiomyocytes; Cell labeling; Direct label; Stem cells.