Embryonic stem (ES) cells are a promising source of cardiomyocytes, but clinical application of ES cells has been hindered by the lack of reliable selective differentiation methods. Differentiation into any lineage is partly dependent on the regulatory mechanisms of normal early development. Although several signals, including bone morphogenetic protein (BMP), Wnt and FGF, are involved in heart development, scarce evidence is available about the exact signals that mediate cardiomyocyte differentiation. While investigating the involvement of BMP signaling in early heart formation in the mouse, we found that the BMP antagonist Noggin is transiently but strongly expressed in the heart-forming region during gastrulation and acts at the level of induction of mesendoderm to establish conditions conducive to cardiogenesis. We applied this finding to develop an effective protocol for obtaining cardiomyocytes from mouse ES cells by inhibition of BMP signaling.
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Applied Microbiology and Biotechnology
- Molecular Medicine
- Biomedical Engineering