ES cells that grow as embryonic bodies (EB) have an advantage in that these cells have an unlimited capacity for self-renewal and potential to become cardiac progenitors, and offer an alternative source of cells for transplantation therapy. Dr. Siddiqui is proposing to use EB-derived ES cells to obtain cardiac progenitors and analyze them for their ability to differentiate into cardiac myocytes for transplantation into the diseased heart of dystrophic mice, or into the infarcted region of ischemic heart. Siddiqui's strategy is to use a selectable marker gene, such as Nkx2.5, which is expressed in early cardiac mesoderm, to obtain a pure population of Nkx2.5 positive ES cells. In a parallel study, the Siddiqui lab will use heart-targeted, CLP-1 KO mice where the deregulated transcription activity is expected to produce a new population of cardiac cells, including cardiac stem cells.
Professor and Chairman
Department of Anatomy & Cell Biology
State University of New York Downstate Medical Center