Cardiac Differentiation of Mesenchymal Stem Cells: Impact of Biological and Chemical Inducers

Stem Cell Rev Rep. 2021 Apr 16. doi: 10.1007/s12015-021-10165-3. Online ahead of print.


Cardiovascular disorders (CVDs) are the leading cause of global death, widely occurs due to irreparable loss of the functional cardiomyocytes. Stem cell-based therapeutic approaches, particularly the use of Mesenchymal Stem Cells (MSCs) is an emerging strategy to regenerate myocardium and thereby improving the cardiac function after myocardial infarction (MI). Most of the current approaches often employ the use of various biological and chemical factors as cues to trigger and modulate the differentiation of MSCs into the cardiac lineage. However, the recent advanced methods of using specific epigenetic modifiers and exosomes to manipulate the epigenome and molecular pathways of MSCs to modify the cardiac gene expression yield better profiled cardiomyocyte like cells in vitro. Hitherto, the role of cardiac specific inducers triggering cardiac differentiation at the cellular and molecular level is not well understood. Therefore, the current review highlights the impact and recent trends in employing biological and chemical inducers on cardiac differentiation of MSCs. Thereby, deciphering the interactions between the cellular microenvironment and the cardiac inducers will help us to understand cardiomyogenesis of MSCs. Additionally, the review also provides an insight on skeptical roles of the cell free biological factors and extracellular scaffold assisted mode for manipulation of native and transplanted stem cells towards translational cardiac research.

Keywords: Cardiac inducers; Cardiomyocytes; Exosomes; Growth factors; Mesenchymal stem cells; Microenvironment; micro RNA.

Publication types

  • Review

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