Primary cardiac mesenchymal stromal cells (C-MSCs) can promote the aberrant remodeling of cardiac tissue that characterizes arrhythmogenic cardiomyopathy (ACM) by differentiating into adipocytes and myofibroblasts. These cells' limitations, including restricted access to primary material and its manipulation have been overcome by the advancement of human induced pluripotent stem cells (hiPSCs), and their ability to differentiate towards the cardiac stromal population. C-MSCs derived from hiPSCs make it possible to work with virtually unlimited numbers of cells that are genetically identical to the cells of origin. We performed in vitro experiments on primary stromal cells (Primary) and hiPSC-derived stromal cells (hiPSC-D) to compare them as tools to model ACM. Both Primary and hiPSC-D cells expressed mesenchymal surface markers and possessed typical MSC differentiation potentials. hiPSC-D expressed desmosomal genes and proteins and shared a similar transcriptomic profile with Primary cells. Furthermore, ACM hiPSC-D exhibited higher propensity to accumulate lipid droplets and collagen compared to healthy control cells, similar to their primary counterparts. Therefore, both Primary and hiPSC-D cardiac stromal cells obtained from ACM patients can be used to model aspects of the disease. The choice of the most suitable model will depend on experimental needs and on the availability of human source samples.
Reference: Patient-specific primary and pluripotent stem cell-derived stromal cells recapitulate key aspects of arrhythmogenic cardiomyopathy.
Maione AS, Meraviglia V, Iengo L, Rabino M, Chiesa M, Catto V, Tondo C, Pompilio G, Bellin M, Sommariva E. Sci Rep. 2023 Sep 27;13(1):16179.