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Stem Cells International
Volume 2015, Article ID 247091, 12 pages
Research Article

Dynamic Support Culture of Murine Skeletal Muscle-Derived Stem Cells Improves Their Cardiogenic Potential In Vitro

1Department of Cardiothoracic Surgery, Heart Center, University of Cologne, 50937 Cologne, Germany
2Center for Molecular Medicine Cologne, University of Cologne, 50931 Cologne, Germany
3Institute for Neurophysiology, University of Cologne, 50931 Cologne, Germany
4Berlin-Brandenburg Center for Regenerative Therapies, 13353 Berlin, Germany
5Department of Anesthesiology, Perioperative and Pain Medicine, Children’s Hospital Boston and Harvard Medical School, Boston, MA 02115, USA

Received 9 March 2015; Revised 27 June 2015; Accepted 2 July 2015

Academic Editor: Silvia Brunelli

Copyright © 2015 Klaus Neef et al. This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.


Ischemic heart disease is the main cause of death in western countries and its burden is increasing worldwide. It typically involves irreversible degeneration and loss of myocardial tissue leading to poor prognosis and fatal outcome. Autologous cells with the potential to regenerate damaged heart tissue would be an ideal source for cell therapeutic approaches. Here, we compared different methods of conditional culture for increasing the yield and cardiogenic potential of murine skeletal muscle-derived stem cells. A subpopulation of nonadherent cells was isolated from skeletal muscle by preplating and applying cell culture conditions differing in support of cluster formation. In contrast to static culture conditions, dynamic culture with or without previous hanging drop preculture led to significantly increased cluster diameters and the expression of cardiac specific markers on the protein and mRNA level. Whole-cell patch-clamp studies revealed similarities to pacemaker action potentials and responsiveness to cardiac specific pharmacological stimuli. This data indicates that skeletal muscle-derived stem cells are capable of adopting enhanced cardiac muscle cell-like properties by applying specific culture conditions. Choosing this route for the establishment of a sustainable, autologous source of cells for cardiac therapies holds the potential of being clinically more acceptable than transgenic manipulation of cells.