Heart failure (HF) is a common disease in which the heart cannot meet the metabolic demands of the body. It mostly occurs in individuals 65 years or older. Cardiac transplantation is the best option for patients with advanced HF. High numbers of patient-specific cardiac myocytes (CMs) can be generated from induced pluripotent stem cells (iPSCs) and can possibly be used to treat HF. While some studies found iPSC-CMS can couple efficiently to the damaged heart and restore cardiac contractility, almost all found iPSC-CM transplantation is arrhythmogenic, thus hampering the use of iPSC-CMs for cardiac regeneration. Studies show that iPSC-CM cultures are highly heterogeneous containing atrial-, ventricular- and nodal-like CMs. Furthermore, they have an immature phenotype, resembling more fetal than adult CMs. There is an urgent need to overcome these issues. To this end, a novel and interesting avenue to increase CM maturation consists of modulating their metabolism. Combined with careful engineering and animal models of HF, iPSC-CMs can be assessed for their potential for cardiac regeneration and a cure for HF.
Keywords: cardiac regeneration; heart failure; iPSC-CMs; metabolism.