Japan Team Makes Heart Cells thru Gene Introduction

Society Lifestyle

Tokyo, Aug. 10 (Jiji Press)--A Japanese team has said it succeeded in producing heart muscle and blood vessel cells by using a gene newly found crucial to heart formation.

"We want to develop regenerative medical treatment for myocardial infarction and dilated cardiomyopathy," said key team member Masaki Ieda, professor at the University of Tsukuba.

The outcome of the team's research was recently posted on the electronic version of the U.S. journal Cell Stem Cell. The team also included researchers of Keio University and the National Institute of Advanced Industrial Science and Technology, or AIST.

The team found that the Tbx6 gene is crucial to differentiating pluripotent stem cells into cardiac mesoderm cells, from which heart muscle and blood vessel cells develop.

The team introduced the gene into mouse fibroblasts and human induced pluripotent stem, or iPS, cells and successfully converted them into cardiac mesoderm cells, the article said.

[Copyright The Jiji Press, Ltd.]

Jiji Press