Formation of the heart requires the coordinated functions of cardiac myocytes, smooth muscle cells, endothelial cells, and connective tissue elements. Several recent studies now reveal that these different cell types arise from a common progenitor (Kattman et al., 2006; Moretti et al., 2006; Wu et al., 2006). These findings raise interesting questions about the lineage relationships of cardiovascular progenitor cell populations and suggest possibilities for cardiac repair in both congenital and acquired heart disease.
Bibliographical noteFunding Information:
The authors are funded by the NIH and the Donald W. Reynolds Foundation. D.J.G. is an Established Investigator of the American Heart Association.