Cardioprotective Repair through Cardiopoiesis

Project: Research project

Project Details


Myocardial infarction is a leading cause of morbidity with loss of contractile performance precipitated
by the limited capacity of heart muscle for self-renewal. The aptitude of embryonic stem cells for
differentiation into cardiomyocytes provides an opportunity for regenerative repair. Indeed, the basis
for therapeutic use of these quintessential stem cells lies in their inherent pluripotency, yet the distinct
ability for multi-lineage differentiation carries the liability of neoplastic growth that outweighs benefit
impeding reparative applications. The objective of this proposal is to hone stem cell plasticity in order
to nullify malignancy-prone unguided differentiation for safe repair. Preliminary studies demonstrate
the aptitude for definitive cardiogenic commitment of an embryonic stem cell population within the
developing embryoid body, during a transient window of endoderm-directed cardiotrophic signaling,
with the resulting specification of the mesoderm yielding a progenitor "cardiopoietic" stem cell
phenotype. Aim #1 will (i) isolate this pro-cardiogenic population utilizing embryoid body-based stem
cell differentiation, (ii)define its molecular identity, and (iii)determine its propensity for terminal
cardiomyogenic transformation. Aim #2 will (i) decipher the endoderm-derived cardiotrophic
signaling, (ii) recruit in an embryoid body-free manner the pro-cardiogenic cardiopoietic population
at large scale, and (iii) validate in vivo the safety profile of this novel stem cell type. Aim #3 will (i)
assess the curative potential of procured cardiopoietic stem cells in treating myocardial infarction,(ii)
determine the underlying mechanism for repair, and (iii) engineer stem cells for augmented tolerance
to stress achieving enhanced cardioprotective outcome. Based on the characterization of
cardiopoietic stem cells and the profiling of cardiotrophic cues, this proposal will dissect the
fundamental process of cardiopoiesis securing formative confinement of pluripotency. Dissection of
cardiogenesis at the molecular and cellular level will be further integrated into a therapeutic
paradigm, and translated to the organ and organism level for safe cell-based regenerative therapy of
myocardial infarction.
StatusNot started


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