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PubMed | Rambam Medical Center, The Rappaport Institute, The Sohnis Family Stem Cells Center, Israel Electric and Columbia University
Type: Journal Article | Journal: Heart rhythm | Year: 2014

We previously reported that induced pluripotent stem cell-derived cardiomyocytes manifest beat rate variability (BRV) resembling heart rate variability (HRV) in the human sinoatrial node. We now hypothesized the BRV-HRV continuum originates in pacemaker cells.To investigate whether cellular BRV is a source of HRV dynamics, we hypothesized 3 levels of interaction among different cardiomyocyte entities: (1) single pacemaker cells, (2) networks of electrically coupled pacemaker cells, and (3) the in situ sinoatrial node.We measured BRV/HRV properties in single pacemaker cells, induced pluripotent stem cell-derived contracting embryoid bodies (EBs), and electrocardiograms from the same individual.Pronounced BRV/HRV was present at all 3 levels. The coefficient of variance of interbeat intervals and Poincar plot indices SD1 and SD2 for single cells were 20 times greater than those for EBs (P < .05) and the in situ heart (the latter two were similar; P > .05). We also compared BRV magnitude among single cells, small EBs (~5-10 cells), and larger EBs (>10 cells): BRV indices progressively increased with the decrease in the cell number (P < .05). Disrupting intracellular Ca(2+) handling markedly augmented BRV magnitude, revealing a unique bimodal firing pattern, suggesting that intracellular mechanisms contribute to BRV/HRV and the fractal behavior of heart rhythm.The decreased BRV magnitude in transitioning from the single cell to the EB suggests that the HRV of in situ hearts originates from the summation and integration of multiple cell-based oscillators. Hence, complex interactions among multiple pacemaker cells and intracellular Ca(2+) handling determine HRV in humans and cardiomyocyte networks.


Novak A.,The Sohnis Family Stem Cells Center | Novak A.,The Rappaport Family Institute for Research in the Medical science | Novak A.,Technion - Israel Institute of Technology | Barad L.,The Sohnis Family Stem Cells Center | And 17 more authors.
Journal of Cellular and Molecular Medicine | Year: 2012

Sudden cardiac death caused by ventricular arrhythmias is a disastrous event, especially when it occurs in young individuals. Among the five major arrhythmogenic disorders occurring in the absence of a structural heart disease is catecholaminergic polymorphic ventricular tachycardia (CPVT), which is a highly lethal form of inherited arrhythmias. Our study focuses on the autosomal recessive form of the disease caused by the missense mutation D307H in the cardiac calsequestrin gene, CASQ2. Because CASQ2 is a key player in excitation contraction coupling, the derangements in intracellular Ca 2+ handling may cause delayed afterdepolarizations (DADs), which constitute the mechanism underlying CPVT. To investigate catecholamine-induced arrhythmias in the CASQ2 mutated cells, we generated for the first time CPVT-derived induced pluripotent stem cells (iPSCs) by reprogramming fibroblasts from skin biopsies of two patients, and demonstrated that the iPSCs carry the CASQ2 mutation. Next, iPSCs were differentiated to cardiomyocytes (iPSCs-CMs), which expressed the mutant CASQ2 protein. The major findings were that the β-adrenergic agonist isoproterenol caused in CPVT iPSCs-CMs (but not in the control cardiomyocytes) DADs, oscillatory arrhythmic prepotentials, after-contractions and diastolic [Ca 2+] i rise. Electron microscopy analysis revealed that compared with control iPSCs-CMs, CPVT iPSCs-CMs displayed a more immature phenotype with less organized myofibrils, enlarged sarcoplasmic reticulum cisternae and reduced number of caveolae. In summary, our results demonstrate that the patient-specific mutated cardiomyocytes can be used to study the electrophysiological mechanisms underlying CPVT. © 2012 Foundation for Cellular and Molecular Medicine/Blackwell Publishing Ltd.


Gherghiceanu M.,Victor Babes National Institute of Pathology | Barad L.,The Sohnis Family Stem Cells Center | Barad L.,The Rappaport Institute | Barad L.,Technion - Israel Institute of Technology | And 14 more authors.
Journal of Cellular and Molecular Medicine | Year: 2011

Induced pluripotent stem cells (iPSC) are generated from fully differentiated somatic cells that were reprogrammed into a pluripotent state. Human iPSC which can be obtained from various types of somatic cells such as fibroblasts or keratinocytes can differentiate into cardiomyocytes (iPSC-CM), which exhibit cardiac-like transmembrane action potentials, intracellular Ca 2+ transients and contractions. While major features of the excitation-contraction coupling of iPSC-CM have been well-described, very little is known on the ultrastructure of these cardiomyocytes. The ultrastructural features of 31-day-old (post-plating) iPSC-CM generated from human hair follicle keratinocytes (HFKT-iPSC-CM) were analysed by electron microscopy, and compared with those of human embryonic stem-cell-derived cardiomyocytes (hESC-CM). The comparison showed that cardiomyocytes from the two sources share similar proprieties. Specifically, HFKT-iPSC-CM and hESC-CM, displayed ultrastructural features of early and immature phenotype: myofibrils with sarcomeric pattern, large glycogen deposits, lipid droplets, long and slender mitochondria, free ribosomes, rough endoplasmic reticulum, sarcoplasmic reticulum and caveolae. Noteworthy, the SR is less developed in HFKT-iPSC-CM. We also found in both cell types: (1) 'Ca 2+-release units', which connect the peripheral sarcoplasmic reticulum with plasmalemma; and (2) intercellular junctions, which mimic intercalated disks (desmosomes and fascia adherens). In conclusion, iPSC and hESC differentiate into cardiomyocytes of comparable ultrastructure, thus supporting the notion that iPSC offer a viable option for an autologous cell source for cardiac regenerative therapy. © 2011 Foundation for Cellular and Molecular Medicine/Blackwell Publishing Ltd.


PubMed | The Sohnis Family Stem Cells Center
Type: Journal Article | Journal: Journal of cellular and molecular medicine | Year: 2012

Sudden cardiac death caused by ventricular arrhythmias is a disastrous event, especially when it occurs in young individuals. Among the five major arrhythmogenic disorders occurring in the absence of a structural heart disease is catecholaminergic polymorphic ventricular tachycardia (CPVT), which is a highly lethal form of inherited arrhythmias. Our study focuses on the autosomal recessive form of the disease caused by the missense mutation D307H in the cardiac calsequestrin gene, CASQ2. Because CASQ2 is a key player in excitation contraction coupling, the derangements in intracellular Ca(2+) handling may cause delayed afterdepolarizations (DADs), which constitute the mechanism underlying CPVT. To investigate catecholamine-induced arrhythmias in the CASQ2 mutated cells, we generated for the first time CPVT-derived induced pluripotent stem cells (iPSCs) by reprogramming fibroblasts from skin biopsies of two patients, and demonstrated that the iPSCs carry the CASQ2 mutation. Next, iPSCs were differentiated to cardiomyocytes (iPSCs-CMs), which expressed the mutant CASQ2 protein. The major findings were that the -adrenergic agonist isoproterenol caused in CPVT iPSCs-CMs (but not in the control cardiomyocytes) DADs, oscillatory arrhythmic prepotentials, after-contractions and diastolic [Ca(2+) ](i) rise. Electron microscopy analysis revealed that compared with control iPSCs-CMs, CPVT iPSCs-CMs displayed a more immature phenotype with less organized myofibrils, enlarged sarcoplasmic reticulum cisternae and reduced number of caveolae. In summary, our results demonstrate that the patient-specific mutated cardiomyocytes can be used to study the electrophysiological mechanisms underlying CPVT.

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