Tokyo: For the first time, scientists have found that iPS-derived cells can become an integral part of the heart tissues in rats, a discovery that may lead to new treatments for severe heart failure in humans.
Researchers from Japan's Osaka University have shown that myocardial cells developed from induced pluripotent stem (iPS) cells, a type of stem cells that can be generated directly from adult cells, could assimilate with heart tissues of rats and function continuously.
Researchers collaborated with National Cerebral and Cardiovascular Center to transplant iPS-derived myocardial cell sheets to rats with myocardial infarction.
They observed the cells one month later with help of X-rays from SPring-8, the world's largest third-generation synchrotron radiation facility located in Hyogo Prefecture, western Japan.
The result showed on a molecular level that the actin and myosin of the transplanted cells functioned well in contractions of the heart tissues, which means the transplanted cells have become an integral part of the heart tissues of the rats, 'Xinhua' reported.
This is the first time iPS-derived cells have been proved assimilable with the myocardial tissue, though animal tests have shown iPS-derived cells could improve function of the heart previously, researchers said.
The discovery will be a step towards clinical research of treating human patients with severe heart failure by transplanting iPS-derived myocardial cell sheets to them, researchers added.