WNT and BMP regulate roadblocks toward cardiomyocyte differentiation: lessons learned from embryos inform human stem cell differentiation

Andrea Münsterberg, Stefan Hoppler

Research output: Contribution to journalEditorial


The controlled differentiation of embryonic stem cells into specific cell types holds promise for cell-based therapies in patients, including for the treatment of conditions affecting the heart. In recent years, the isolation of human embryonic stem cells (hESCs), the discovery of ‘induced pluripotency’ and, last but not least, the numerous studies in developing embryos, using model organisms, have brought us closer to the ultimate goal of generating cardiomyocytes in the dish.

With the view to improve existing protocols, a recent study published in Cell Stem Cell (1) has looked in detail at the genome-wide molecular responses triggered by cardiogenic signals in hESCs. In this editorial we will summarize their findings and conclusions and in addition, highlight the seminal discoveries and insights coming from developmental biology that have paved the way. We argue that studying the embryo will continue to make important contributions to stem cell science.
Original languageEnglish
Article number33
Number of pages5
JournalStem Cell Investigation
Publication statusPublished - 2 Aug 2016

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