Transcriptome of human foetal heart compared with cardiomyocytes from pluripotent stem cells

Cathelijne W. Van Den Berg, Satoshi Okawa, Susana M. Chuva De Sousa Lopes, Liesbeth Van Iperen, Robert Passier, Stefan R. Braam, Leon G. Tertoolen, Antonio Del Sol, Richard P. Davis, Christine L. Mummery*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleAcademicpeer-review

126 Citations (Scopus)
30 Downloads (Pure)


Differentiated derivatives of human pluripotent stem cells (hPSCs) are often considered immature because they resemble foetal cells more than adult, with hPSC-derived cardiomyocytes (hPSC-CMs) being no exception. Many functional features of these cardiomyocytes, such as their cell morphology, electrophysiological characteristics, sarcomere organization and contraction force, are underdeveloped compared with adult cardiomyocytes. However, relatively little is known about how their gene expression profiles compare with the human foetal heart, in part because of the paucity of data on the human foetal heart at different stages of development. Here, we collected samples of matched ventricles and atria from human foetuses during the first and second trimester of development. This presented a rare opportunity to perform gene expression analysis on the individual chambers of the heart at various stages of development, allowing us to identify not only genes involved in the formation of the heart, but also specific genes upregulated in each of the four chambers and at different stages of development. The data showed that hPSC-CMs had a gene expression profile similar to first trimester foetal heart, but after culture in conditions shown previously to induce maturation, they cluster closer to the second trimester foetal heartsamples. In summary, we demonstrate how the gene expression profiles of human foetal heart samples can be used for benchmarking hPSC-CMs and also contribute to determining their equivalent stage of development.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)3231-3238
Number of pages8
JournalDevelopment (Cambridge)
Issue number18
Publication statusPublished - 23 Sept 2015
Externally publishedYes


  • Gene expression profiling
  • Human heart development
  • Human pluripotent stem cells


Dive into the research topics of 'Transcriptome of human foetal heart compared with cardiomyocytes from pluripotent stem cells'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this