Image_3_Combinatorial Treatment of Human Cardiac Engineered Tissues With Biomimetic Cues Induces Functional Maturation as Revealed by Optical Mapping .JPEG (233.54 kB)

Image_3_Combinatorial Treatment of Human Cardiac Engineered Tissues With Biomimetic Cues Induces Functional Maturation as Revealed by Optical Mapping of Action Potentials and Calcium Transients.JPEG

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posted on 12.03.2020 by Andy On-Tik Wong, Nicodemus Wong, Lin Geng, Maggie Zi-ying Chow, Eugene K. Lee, Hongkai Wu, Michelle Khine, Chi-Wing Kong, Kevin D. Costa, Wendy Keung, Yiu-Fai Cheung, Ronald A. Li

Although biomimetic stimuli, such as microgroove-induced alignment (μ), triiodothyronine (T3) induction, and electrical conditioning (EC), have been reported to promote maturation of human pluripotent stem cell-derived cardiomyocytes (hPSC-CMs), a systematic examination of their combinatorial effects on engineered cardiac tissue constructs and the underlying molecular pathways has not been reported. Herein, human embryonic stem cell-derived ventricular cardiomyocytes (hESC-VCMs) were used to generate a micro-patterned human ventricular cardiac anisotropic sheets (hvCAS) for studying the physiological effects of combinatorial treatments by a range of functional, calcium (Ca2+)-handling, and molecular analyses. High-resolution optical mapping showed that combined μ-T3-EC treatment of hvCAS increased the conduction velocity, anisotropic ratio, and proportion of mature quiescent-yet-excitable preparations by 2. 3-, 1. 8-, and 5-fold (>70%), respectively. Such electrophysiological changes could be attributed to an increase in inward sodium current density and a decrease in funny current densities, which is consistent with the observed up- and downregulated SCN1B and HCN2/4 transcripts, respectively. Furthermore, Ca2+-handling transcripts encoding for phospholamban (PLN) and sarco/endoplasmic reticulum Ca2+-ATPase (SERCA) were upregulated, and this led to faster upstroke and decay kinetics of Ca2+-transients. RNA-sequencing and pathway mapping of T3-EC-treated hvCAS revealed that the TGF-β signaling was downregulated; the TGF-β receptor agonist and antagonist TGF-β1 and SB431542 partially reversed T3-EC induced quiescence and reduced spontaneous contractions, respectively. Taken together, we concluded that topographical cues alone primed cardiac tissue constructs for augmented electrophysiological and calcium handling by T3-EC. Not only do these studies improve our understanding of hPSC-CM biology, but the orchestration of these pro-maturational factors also improves the use of engineered cardiac tissues for in vitro drug screening and disease modeling.

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