UBC Faculty Research and Publications

The Emergence of Human Induced Pluripotent Stem Cell-Derived Cardiomyocytes (hiPSC-CMs) as a Platform to Model Arrhythmogenic Diseases Pourrier, Marc; Fedida, David


There is a need for improved in vitro models of inherited cardiac diseases to better understand basic cellular and molecular mechanisms and advance drug development. Most of these diseases are associated with arrhythmias, as a result of mutations in ion channel or ion channel-modulatory proteins. Thus far, the electrophysiological phenotype of these mutations has been typically studied using transgenic animal models and heterologous expression systems. Although they have played a major role in advancing the understanding of the pathophysiology of arrhythmogenesis, more physiological and predictive preclinical models are necessary to optimize the treatment strategy for individual patients. Human induced pluripotent stem cell-derived cardiomyocytes (hiPSC-CMs) have generated much interest as an alternative tool to model arrhythmogenic diseases. They provide a unique opportunity to recapitulate the native-like environment required for mutated proteins to reproduce the human cellular disease phenotype. However, it is also important to recognize the limitations of this technology, specifically their fetal electrophysiological phenotype, which differentiates them from adult human myocytes. In this review, we provide an overview of the major inherited arrhythmogenic cardiac diseases modeled using hiPSC-CMs and for which the cellular disease phenotype has been somewhat characterized.

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