Head to heart: trans of skeletal muscle stem cell for cardiac regeneration by Daughters

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A biology candidate, Daughters, presented on his previous research today in the science auditorium here at UMM. I thought that this was a good topic because he mentioned in his introduction that in order to understand stem cells, it is important to know a lot about developmental biology. From the early stages of cells, they have to 'decide' what path to take. Humans start out at one cell, and then differential into many, and those cells either because muscle cells or many other types of cells. Daughters mentioned that there are a little more than 200 different types of cells in the human body.

Daughters did his study on mice. He said that where the muscles come from early in development is important on how they react as an adult. All different types of locations of muscles express certain transcription factors that differentiate them from the others. For example, the eye muscle cells express certain transcription factors, while skeletal muscles cells express different transcription factors. Once in their set location, they then all express the same transcription factors, which differentiates them as muscle cells and not skin cells.

Daughters found that heart muscle cells are in a similar location to the jaw muscle cells during early development. He called this the 'cardio-craniofacial field'. Both types of muscle cells express different pathways to get to where they need to be. He found that BMP4 inhibits differentiation into skeletal muscle cells. This enables the skeletal muscle cell to become a heart muscle cell, like a normal one would.

The one thing that I got from this lecture was how amazing it was that he was able to produce heart muscle cells, and that they were able to 'beat'. He has a very good video, showing the heart muscle cells contracting and releasing.

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This page contains a single entry by Heidi published on January 16, 2013 8:14 PM.

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