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Phenotype-Specific Cells With Proliferative Potential Are Produced by Polyethylene Glycol-Induced Fusion of Mouse Embryonic Stem Cells With Fetal Cardiomyocytes

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Because cardiomyocytes lose the ability to divide upon differentiation, myocardial failure is assumed to be generally irreversible. For terminal cardiac insufficiency, the potential for regenerative treatment by stem cells, especially embryonic stem (ES) cells, offers hope for the future. Recent studies showed that stem cells fuse spontaneously with cells remaining in damaged tissues, and restore tissue function. To imitate spontaneous fusion in vivo, we used polyethylene glycol (PEG) in vitro to fuse mouse ES cells and fetal cardiomyocytes and analyzed the cytochemical properties of the fused cells. Confocal laser scanning microscopy coupled with lipophilic dye labeling of the living cell membranes showed that there were fused cells of ES cells and cardiomyocytes after PEG treatment. By flow cytometry, the fusion efficiency between ES cells and cardiomyocytes was estimated to be about 45% of the total resulting cells. When green fluorescent protein (GFP)-expressing ES cells were fused with cardiomyocytes, the fused cells had immunoreactivity for GFP in their cytoplasm and cardiac troponin I in their myofibrils. Some of these cells also expressed proliferating cell nuclear antigen up to 11 days after fusion, the last time point examined. This study shows that PEG-induced fusions of mouse ES cells and cardiomyocytes have the cardiomyocyte phenotype and proliferation potential.
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Keywords: Cardiomyocytes; Cell fusion; Mouse embryonic stem cells; Polyethylene glycol; Proliferation

Document Type: Research Article

Affiliations: 1: Department of Anatomy and Organ Technology, Shinshu University School of Medicine, 3-1-1 Asahi, Matsumoto 390-8621, Japan 2: Department of Surgery, Teikyo University School of Medicine, Tokyo, Japan

Publication date: 2005-09-01

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  • Cell Transplantation publishes original, peer-reviewed research and review articles on the subject of cell transplantation and its application to human diseases. To ensure high-quality contributions from all areas of transplantation, separate section editors and editorial boards have been established. Articles deal with a wide range of topics including physiological, medical, preclinical, tissue engineering, and device-oriented aspects of transplantation of nervous system, endocrine, growth factor-secreting, bone marrow, epithelial, endothelial, and genetically engineered cells, among others. Basic clinical studies and immunological research papers are also featured. To provide complete coverage of this revolutionary field, Cell Transplantation will report on relevant technological advances, and ethical and regulatory considerations of cell transplants. Cell Transplantation is now an Open Access journal starting with volume 18 in 2009, and therefore there will be an inexpensive publication charge, which is dependent on the number of pages, in addition to the charge for color figures. This will allow work to be disseminated to a wider audience and also entitle the corresponding author to a free PDF, as well as prepublication of an unedited version of the manuscript.

    Cell Transplantation is now being published by SAGE. Please visit their website for the most recent issues.

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