Embryonic stem cells and cardiomyocyte differentiation: Phenotypic and molecular analyses

Hong Wei, Ondrej Juhasz, Jinliang Li, Yelena S. Tarasova, Kenneth R. Boheler

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review

67 Scopus citations


Embryonic stem (ES) cell lines, derived from the inner cell mass (ICM) of blastocyst-stage embryos, are pluripotent and have a virtually unlimited capacity for self-renewal and differentiation into all cell types of an embryo-proper. Both human and mouse ES cell lines are the subject of intensive investigation for potential applications in developmental biology and medicine. ES cells from both sources differentiate in vitro into cells of ecto-, endo-and meso-dermal lineages, and robust cardiomyogenic differentiation is readily observed in spontaneously differentiating ES cells when cultured under appropriate conditions. Molecular, cellular and physiologic analyses demonstrate that ES cell-derived cardiomyocytes are functionally viable and that these cell derivatives exhibit characteristics typical of heart cells in early stages of cardiac development. Because terminal heart failure is characterized by a significant loss of cardiomyocytes, the use of human ES cell-derived progeny represents one possible source for cell transplantation therapies. With these issues in mind, this review will focus on the differentiation of pluripotent embryonic stem cells into cardiomyocytes as a developmental model, and the possible use of ES cell-derived cardiomyocytes as source of donor cells.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)804-817
Number of pages14
JournalJournal of Cellular and Molecular Medicine
Issue number4
StatePublished - 2005
Externally publishedYes


  • Cardiomyocytes
  • Differentiation
  • Embryonic stem cells
  • Human
  • Mouse

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Biochemistry, Genetics and Molecular Biology(all)
  • Biochemistry


Dive into the research topics of 'Embryonic stem cells and cardiomyocyte differentiation: Phenotypic and molecular analyses'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this