Review Article | Published:

Induced pluripotent stem cells: at the heart of cardiovascular precision medicine

Nature Reviews Cardiology volume 13, pages 333349 (2016) | Download Citation

Abstract

The advent of human induced pluripotent stem cell (hiPSC) technology has revitalized the efforts in the past decade to realize more fully the potential of human embryonic stem cells for scientific research. Adding to the possibility of generating an unlimited amount of any cell type of interest, hiPSC technology now enables the derivation of cells with patient-specific phenotypes. Given the introduction and implementation of the large-scale Precision Medicine Initiative, hiPSC technology will undoubtedly have a vital role in the advancement of cardiovascular research and medicine. In this Review, we summarize the progress that has been made in the field of hiPSC technology, with particular emphasis on cardiovascular disease modelling and drug development. The growing roles of hiPSC technology in the practice of precision medicine will also be discussed.

Key points

  • Human induced pluripotent stem cells (hiPSCs) can now be reprogrammed from different somatic cell sources and differentiated into common cardiovascular cell types, including cardiomyocytes, endothelial cells, and vascular smooth muscle cells

  • hiPSC-derived cardiovascular cells recapitulate patient-specific and disease-specific phenotypes, which can be exploited to design individualized treatment strategies

  • hiPSC derivatives have enabled the accurate modelling of numerous cardiovascular diseases, including cardiomyopathies, arrhythmia syndromes, cardiometabolic disorders, vascular diseases, and valvulopathies

  • hiPSC-based platforms for drug discovery and cardiotoxicity testing are now being incorporated into major pharmaceutical drug development pipelines and standards of drug safety testing, respectively

  • Further refinement in large-scale production of mature hiPSC-derived cardiovascular cells will be necessary to realize the potential of using hiPSCs to guide precision medicine

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Acknowledgements

We thank Blake Wu (Department of Radiology, Stanford University School of Medicine) for his assistance with manuscript preparation and Amy Thomas (Department of Radiology, Stanford University School of Medicine) for her assistance with Figures included in this manuscript. Owing to space limitation, we are unable to include all the important papers relevant to hiPSC research, and we apologize to those investigators who have otherwise contributed substantially to this field. This work is supported by research grants from the National Institute of Health T32 training grant (I.Y.C.), American Heart Association 16BGIA27790017 (E.M.), AHA 13EIA14420025, Burroughs Wellcome Foundation Innovation in Regulatory Science Awards, NIH R01 HL123968, NIH HL130020, NIH R01 HL128170, and NIH R01 HL126527 (J.C.W.).

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Affiliations

  1. Department of Medicine, Division of Cardiovascular Medicine, Stanford University School of Medicine, Stanford, California 94305, USA.

    • Ian Y. Chen
    •  & Joseph C. Wu
  2. Stanford Cardiovascular Institute, Stanford University School of Medicine, Stanford, California 94305, USA.

    • Ian Y. Chen
    • , Elena Matsa
    •  & Joseph C. Wu
  3. Department of Radiology, Stanford University School of Medicine, Stanford, California 94305, USA.

    • Joseph C. Wu

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Contributions

All the authors researched data for the article, substantially contributed to discussion of content, and wrote, reviewed, and edited the manuscript before submission.

Competing interests

The authors declare no competing financial interests.

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Correspondence to Joseph C. Wu.

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DOI

https://doi.org/10.1038/nrcardio.2016.36

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