Physiological coupling of donor and host cardiomyocytes after cellular transplantation

Michael Rubart, Kishore B.S. Pasumarthi, Hidehiro Nakajima, Mark H. Soonpaa, Hisako O. Nakajima, Loren J. Field

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

178 Scopus citations


Cellular transplantation has emerged as a potential approach to treat diseased hearts. Although cell transplantation can affect global heart function, it is not known if this results directly via functional integration of donor myocytes or indirectly via enhanced revascularization and/or altered postinjury remodeling. To determine the degree to which donor cardiomyocytes are able to functionally integrate with the host myocardium, fetal transgenic cardiomyocytes expressing enhanced green fluorescent protein were transplanted into the hearts of nontransgenic adult mice. Two-photon molecular excitation laser scanning microscopy was then used to simultaneously image cellular calcium transients in donor and host cells within the intact recipient hearts. Calcium transients in the donor cardiomyocytes were synchronous with and had kinetics indistinguishable from those of neighboring host cardiomyocytes. These results strongly suggest that donor cardiomyocytes functionally couple with host cardiomyocytes and support the notion that transplanted cardiomyocytes can form a functional syncytium with the host myocardium.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)1217-1224
Number of pages8
JournalCirculation research
Issue number11
StatePublished - Jun 13 2003


  • Cellular transplantation
  • Heart regeneration

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Physiology
  • Cardiology and Cardiovascular Medicine

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