Isolation, characterization, and differentiation of cardiac stem cells from the adult mouse heart

Santosh K. Yadav, Paras K. Mishra

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

5 Scopus citations


Myocardial infarction (MI) is a leading cause of morbidity and mortality around the world. A major goal of regenerative medicine is to replenish the dead myocardium after MI. Although several strategies have been used to regenerate myocardium, stem cell therapy remains a major approach to replenish the dead myocardium of an MI heart. Accumulating evidence suggests the presence of resident cardiac stem cells (CSCs) in the adult heart and their endocrine and/or paracrine effects on cardiac regeneration. However, CSC isolation and their characterization and differentiation toward myocardial cells, especially cardiomyocytes, remains a technical challenge. In the present study, we provided a simple method for the isolation, characterization, and differentiation of CSCs from the adult mouse heart. Here, we describe a density gradient method for the isolation of CSCs, where the heart is digested by a 0.2% collagenase II solution. To characterize the isolated CSCs, we evaluated the expression of CSCs/cardiac markers Sca-1, NKX2-5, and GATA4, and pluripotency/stemness markers OCT4, SOX2, and Nanog. We also determined the proliferation potential of isolated CSCs by culturing them in a Petri dish and assessing the expression of the proliferation marker Ki-67. For evaluating the differentiation potential of CSCs, we selected seven- to ten-days cultured CSCs. We transferred them to a new plate with a cardiomyocyte differentiation medium. They are incubated in a cell culture incubator for 12 days, while the differentiation medium is changed every three days. The differentiated CSCs express cardiomyocyte-specific markers: actinin and troponin I. Thus, CSCs isolated with this protocol have stemness and cardiac markers, and they have a potential for proliferation and differentiation toward cardiomyocyte lineage.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article numbere58448
JournalJournal of Visualized Experiments
Issue number143
StatePublished - Jan 2019


  • Biology
  • GATA4 actinin
  • Issue 143
  • Ki-67
  • NKX2-5
  • Nanog
  • OCT4
  • Sca-1
  • Troponin I

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • General Neuroscience
  • General Chemical Engineering
  • General Biochemistry, Genetics and Molecular Biology
  • General Immunology and Microbiology


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