C-kit+ cells minimally contribute cardiomyocytes to the heart

Jop H. Van Berlo, Onur Kanisicak, Marjorie Maillet, Ronald J. Vagnozzi, Jason Karch, Suh Chin J Lin, Ryan C. Middleton, Eduardo Marbán, Jeffery D. Molkentin

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

525 Scopus citations

Abstract

If and how the heart regenerates after an injury event is highly debated. c-kit-expressing cardiac progenitor cells have been reported as the primary source for generation of new myocardium after injury. Here we generated two genetic approaches in mice to examine whether endogenous c-kit+ cells contribute differentiated cardiomyocytes to the heart during development, with ageing or after injury in adulthood. A complementary DNA encoding either Cre recombinase or a tamoxifen-inducible MerCreMer chimaeric protein was targeted to the Kit locus in mice and then bred with reporter lines to permanently mark cell lineage. Endogenous c-kit+ cells did produce new cardiomyocytes within the heart, although at a percentage of approximately 0.03 or less, and if a preponderance towards cellular fusion is considered, the percentage falls to below approximately 0.008. By contrast, c-kit+ cells amply generated cardiac endothelial cells. Thus, endogenous c-kit+ cells can generate cardiomyocytes within the heart, although probably at a functionally insignificant level.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)337-341
Number of pages5
JournalNature
Volume509
Issue number7500
DOIs
StatePublished - 2014

Bibliographical note

Funding Information:
Acknowledgements This work was supported by grants from the National Institutes of Health (to J.H.v.B., E.M. and J.D.M.). J.D.M. is an investigator of the Howard Hughes Medical Institute.

Fingerprint

Dive into the research topics of 'C-kit<sup>+</sup> cells minimally contribute cardiomyocytes to the heart'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this