Origin of Cardiomyocytes in the Adult Heart

Published in Circulation Research, 2015


This review article discusses the mechanisms of cardiomyogenesis in the adult heart. They include the re-entry of cardiomyocytes into the cell cycle; dedifferentiation of pre-existing cardiomyocytes, which assume an immature replicating cell phenotype; transdifferentiation of hematopoietic stem cells into cardiomyocytes; and cardiomyocytes derived from activation and lineage specification of resident cardiac stem cells. The recognition of the origin of cardiomyocytes is of critical importance for the development of strategies capable of enhancing the growth response of the myocardium; in fact, cell therapy for the decompensated heart has to be based on the acquisition of this fundamental biological knowledge.