Functional innervation of human induced pluripotent stem cell-derived cardiomyocytes by co-culture with sympathetic neurons developed using a microtunnel technique.

Research paper by Koji K Sakai, Kenta K Shimba, Kazuma K Ishizuka, Zhuonan Z Yang, Kosuke K Oiwa, Akimasa A Takeuchi, Kiyoshi K Kotani, Yasuhiko Y Jimbo

Indexed on: 19 Oct '17Published on: 19 Oct '17Published in: Biochemical and Biophysical Research Communications


Microelectrode array (MEA) based-drug screening with human induced pluripotent stem cell-derived cardiomyocytes (hiPSCM) is a potent pre-clinical assay for efficiently assessing proarrhythmic risks in new candidates. Furthermore, predicting sympathetic modulation of the proarrhythmic side-effects is an important issue. Although we have previously developed a MEA-based co-culture system of rat primary cardiomyocyte and sympathetic neurons (rSNs), it is unclear if this co-culture approach is applicable to develop and investigate sympathetic innervation of hiPSCMs. In this study, we developed a co-culture of rSNs and hiPSCMs on MEA substrate, and assessed functional connections. The inter-beat interval of hiPSCM was significantly shortened by stimulation in SNs depending on frequency and pulse number, indicating functional connections between rSNs and hiPSCM and the dependency of chronotropic effects on rSN activity pattern. These results suggest that our co-culture approach can evaluate sympathetic effects on hiPSCMs and would be a useful tool for assessing sympathetic modulated-cardiotoxicity in human cardiac tissue.