Publication Type:Journal Article
Source:Can J Physiol Pharmacol, Volume 95, Issue 10, p.1108-1116 (2017)
Chronic diseases are the primary cause of mortality worldwide, accounting for 67% of deaths. One of the major challenges in developing new treatments is the lack of understanding of the exact underlying biological and molecular mechanisms. Chronic cardiovascular diseases are the single most common cause of death worldwide, and sudden deaths due to cardiac arrhythmias account for approximately 50% of all such cases. Traditional genetic screening for genes involved in cardiac disorders is labourious and frequently fails to detect the mutation that explains or causes the disorder. However, when mutations are identified, human induced pluripotent stem cells (hiPSCs) derived from affected patients make it possible to address fundamental research questions directly relevant to human health. As such, hiPSC technology has recently been used to model human diseases and patient-specific hiPSC-derived cardiomyocytes (hiPSC-CMs) thus offer a unique opportunity to investigate potential disease-causing genetic variants in their natural environment. The purpose of this review is to present the current state of knowledge regarding hiPSC-CMs, including their potential, limitations, and challenges and to discuss future prospects.