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  • Stage-specific Effects of Bioactive Lipids on Human iPSC Cardiac Differentiation and Cardiomyocyte Proliferation. Scientific reports Sharma, A., Zhang, Y., Buikema, J. W., Serpooshan, V., Chirikian, O., Kosaric, N., Churko, J. M., Dzilic, E., Shieh, A., Burridge, P. W., Wu, J. C., Wu, S. M. 2018; 8 (1): 6618

    Abstract

    Bioactive lipids such as sphingosine-1-phosphate (S1P) and lysophosphatidic acid (LPA) regulate diverse processes including cell proliferation, differentiation, and migration. However, their roles in cardiac differentiation and cardiomyocyte proliferation have not been explored. Using a 96-well differentiation platform for generating human induced pluripotent stem cell-derived cardiomyocytes (hiPSC-CMs) we found that S1P and LPA can independently enhance cardiomyocyte generation when administered at an early stage of differentiation. We showed that the combined S1P and LPA treatment of undifferentiated hiPSCs resulted in increased nuclear accumulation of β-catenin, the canonical Wnt signaling pathway mediator, and synergized with CHIR99021, a glycogen synthase kinase 3 beta inhibitor, to enhance mesodermal induction and subsequent cardiac differentiation. At later stages of cardiac differentiation, the addition of S1P and LPA resulted in cell cycle initiation in hiPSC-CMs, an effect mediated through increased ERK signaling. Although the addition of S1P and LPA alone was insufficient to induce cell division, it was able to enhance β-catenin-mediated hiPSC-CM proliferation. In summary, we demonstrated a developmental stage-specific effect of bioactive lipids to enhance hiPSC-CM differentiation and proliferation via modulating the effect of canonical Wnt/β-catenin and ERK signaling. These findings may improve hiPSC-CM generation for cardiac disease modeling, precision medicine, and regenerative therapies.

    View details for PubMedID 29700394

  • High-throughput screening of tyrosine kinase inhibitor cardiotoxicity with human induced pluripotent stem cells. Science translational medicine Sharma, A., Burridge, P. W., McKeithan, W. L., Serrano, R., Shukla, P., Sayed, N., Churko, J. M., Kitani, T., Wu, H., Holmström, A., Matsa, E., Zhang, Y., Kumar, A., Fan, A. C., Del Álamo, J. C., Wu, S. M., Moslehi, J. J., Mercola, M., Wu, J. C. 2017; 9 (377)

    Abstract

    Tyrosine kinase inhibitors (TKIs), despite their efficacy as anticancer therapeutics, are associated with cardiovascular side effects ranging from induced arrhythmias to heart failure. We used human induced pluripotent stem cell-derived cardiomyocytes (hiPSC-CMs), generated from 11 healthy individuals and 2 patients receiving cancer treatment, to screen U.S. Food and Drug Administration-approved TKIs for cardiotoxicities by measuring alterations in cardiomyocyte viability, contractility, electrophysiology, calcium handling, and signaling. With these data, we generated a "cardiac safety index" to reflect the cardiotoxicities of existing TKIs. TKIs with low cardiac safety indices exhibit cardiotoxicity in patients. We also derived endothelial cells (hiPSC-ECs) and cardiac fibroblasts (hiPSC-CFs) to examine cell type-specific cardiotoxicities. Using high-throughput screening, we determined that vascular endothelial growth factor receptor 2 (VEGFR2)/platelet-derived growth factor receptor (PDGFR)-inhibiting TKIs caused cardiotoxicity in hiPSC-CMs, hiPSC-ECs, and hiPSC-CFs. With phosphoprotein analysis, we determined that VEGFR2/PDGFR-inhibiting TKIs led to a compensatory increase in cardioprotective insulin and insulin-like growth factor (IGF) signaling in hiPSC-CMs. Up-regulating cardioprotective signaling with exogenous insulin or IGF1 improved hiPSC-CM viability during cotreatment with cardiotoxic VEGFR2/PDGFR-inhibiting TKIs. Thus, hiPSC-CMs can be used to screen for cardiovascular toxicities associated with anticancer TKIs, and the results correlate with clinical phenotypes. This approach provides unexpected insights, as illustrated by our finding that toxicity can be alleviated via cardioprotective insulin/IGF signaling.

    View details for DOI 10.1126/scitranslmed.aaf2584

    View details for PubMedID 28202772

  • Harnessing the Induction of Cardiomyocyte Proliferation for Cardiac Regenerative Medicine. Current treatment options in cardiovascular medicine Sharma, A., Zhang, Y., Wu, S. M. 2015; 17 (10): 404-?

    Abstract

    Adult human cardiomyocytes are terminally differentiated and have limited capacity for cell division. Hence, they are not naturally replaced following ischemic injury to the heart. As such, cardiac function is often permanently compromised after an event such as myocardial infarction. In recent years, investigators have focused intensively on ways to reactivate cardiomyocyte mitotic activity in both in vitro cell culture systems and in vivo animal models. In parallel, advances in stem cell biology have allowed for the mass production of patient-specific human cardiomyocytes from human-induced pluripotent stem cells. These cells can be produced via chemically defined differentiation of human pluripotent stem cells in a matter of weeks and could theoretically be utilized directly for therapeutic purposes to replace damaged myocardium. However, stem cell-derived cardiomyocytes, like their adult counterparts, are post-mitotic and incapable of large-scale expansion after reaching a certain stage of in vitro differentiation. Due to this shared characteristic, these stem cell-derived cardiomyocytes may provide a platform for studying genes, pathways, and small molecules that induce cell cycle reentry and proliferation of human cardiomyocytes. Ultimately, the discovery of novel mechanisms or pathways to induce human cardiomyocyte proliferation should improve our ability to regenerate adult cardiomyocytes and help restore cardiac function following injury.

    View details for DOI 10.1007/s11936-015-0404-z

    View details for PubMedID 26324824