Primary Human Cardiac Myocytes
Primary Human Cardiac Myocytes (HCM) are isolated from the ventricles of the adult heart. They are qualified for in vitro research on cardiac diseases and for pharmacological studies. Unlike freshly isolated rod-shaped myocytes, cultured HCM can be used for long-term experiments like investigating the long-term effects of cytokines, mechanical strain, or cell-cell interactions, as they are prepared according to a special protocol.
Initially, the HCM act more like progenitor cells in that they are not yet fully differentiated. They express the markers of early stage differentiation such as GATA-4 and sarcomeric alpha-actin and have a high capacity for proliferation. When they are grown to confluency and cultivated for an extended period of time, the differentiation process begins. Markers of late differentiation (e.g. sarcomeric alpha-actinin, slow muscle myosin) are increased and the cells begin to form myotube-like structures.