Mechanosensitivity of cardiomyocyte progenitor cells : the strain response in 2D and 3D environments.

Research output: Contribution to conferencePosterAcademic

Abstract

Purpose
Cardiomyocytes progenitor cells (CMPCs) are a candidate cell source for cardiac regenerative therapy. To assess their full potential for cardiac regeneration, it is essential to know if and how CMPCs sense and respond to the three-dimensional (3D) environment and the mechanical stimuli provided by the beating heart. Therefore, we study the response to cyclic strain of undifferentiated and predifferentiated human CMPCs in a 2D environment, as well as CMPC responses to unidirectionally constrained versus stress-free (unconstrained) 3D environments. The latter responses were studied using a hydrogel system that allows for interaction of the cells with a simulated ‘host’ tissue.
Methods
To test mechanosensitivity of CMPCs in 2D and 3D environments, the response of L9TB CMPCs to uniaxial (cyclic) strain (10% with 0.5 Hz) was investigated. To represent the 3D environment, CMPCs were cultured in unidirectionally constrained and stress-free collagen/Matrigel hydrogels, where the constrainment provides a static strain to the cells. The cellular mechanoresponse to the applied (cyclic) strain was quantified by cellular re-orientation away from the strain direction (strain avoidance). Next to cellular re-orientation, the effect of strain on cell differentiation was analyzed.
Results
Our results indicate that while undifferentiated cells maintain their original orientation, upon early cardiomyogenic differentiation (predifferentiated) CMPCs exhibit a distinct strain avoidance response during 48hrs of cyclic straining in a 2D environment. In 3D unidirectionally constrained hydrogels, undifferentiated CMPCs retain their cardiomyogenic profile. CMPCs cultured in 3D collagen/Matrigel hydrogels respond to static mechanical strains as expected by cell alignment.
Conclusions
Our results suggest that CMPCs respond to the presence of mechanical stimuli, in this research mimicked by the application of uniaxial (cyclic) strain in 2D and 3D environments, suggesting that CMPCs are indeed mechanosensitive. Although in 2D environments, mechanosensitivity of the CMPCs is dependent on their differentiation status. Our findings provide the first understanding of the ability of human CMPCs to sense mechanical stimuli, which is the first initial step in mechanotransduction. Mechanotransduction is essential for optimal recruitment, migration, and mechanical integration of progenitor cells into the injured myocardium. Therefore, the presented results can contribute to enhance efficacy of current treatments of cardiac disease, as well as to develop novel endogenous regeneration strategies.
Original languageEnglish
Publication statusPublished - 2016
EventEuropean Society of Cardiology - Frontiers in Cardiovascular Biology - Florence, Italy
Duration: 8 Jul 201610 Jul 2016

Conference

ConferenceEuropean Society of Cardiology - Frontiers in Cardiovascular Biology
CountryItaly
CityFlorence
Period8/07/1610/07/16

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