By genetically reprogramming the most common type of cell in mammalian connective tissue, researchers at the University of Wisconsin—Madison have generated master heart cells — primitive progenitors that form the developing heart.
Writing online Feb. 11 in the journal Cell Stem Cell, a team led by cardiologist Timothy J. Kamp reports transforming mouse fibroblasts, cells found mostly in connective tissue such as skin, into primitive master heart cells known as induced cardiac progenitor cells. The technology could permit a scalable method for making an almost unlimited supply of the three major types of cells in the heart. If replicated in human cells, the feat could one day fuel drug discovery, powerful new models for heart disease and the raw material for treating diseased hearts. Read the full story here.