Cardiac progenitors and paracrine mediators in cardiogenesis and heart regeneration

Nevin Witman, Chikai Zhou, Niels Grote Beverborg, Makoto Sahara, Kenneth R Chien*

*Corresponding author for this work

    Research output: Contribution to journalReview articleAcademicpeer-review

    4 Citations (Scopus)
    111 Downloads (Pure)


    The mammalian hearts have the least regenerative capabilities among tissues and organs. As such, heart regeneration has been and continues to be the ultimate goal in the treatment against acquired and congenital heart diseases. Uncovering such a long-awaited therapy is still extremely challenging in the current settings. On the other hand, this desperate need for effective heart regeneration has developed various forms of modern biotechnologies in recent years. These involve the transplantation of pluripotent stem cell-derived cardiac progenitors or cardiomyocytes generated in vitro and novel biochemical molecules along with tissue engineering platforms. Such newly generated technologies and approaches have been shown to effectively proliferate cardiomyocytes and promote heart repair in the diseased settings, albeit mainly preclinically. These novel tools and medicines give somehow credence to breaking down the barriers associated with re-building heart muscle. However, in order to maximize efficacy and achieve better clinical outcomes through these cell-based and/or cell-free therapies, it is crucial to understand more deeply the developmental cellular hierarchies/paths and molecular mechanisms in normal or pathological cardiogenesis. Indeed, the morphogenetic process of mammalian cardiac development is highly complex and spatiotemporally regulated by various types of cardiac progenitors and their paracrine mediators. Here we discuss the most recent knowledge and findings in cardiac progenitor cell biology and the major cardiogenic paracrine mediators in the settings of cardiogenesis, congenital heart disease, and heart regeneration.

    Original languageEnglish
    Pages (from-to)29-51
    Number of pages23
    JournalSeminars in Cell & Developmental Biology
    Publication statusPublished - Apr-2020

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