Direct reprogramming of fibroblasts into myocytes to reverse fibrosis

Naoto Muraoka, Masaki Ieda

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review

26 Citations (Scopus)


Heart disease is a major cause of morbidity and mortality worldwide. The low regenerative capacity of adult human hearts has thus far limited the available therapeutic approaches for heart failure. Therefore, new therapies that can regenerate damaged myocardium and improve heart function are urgently needed. Although cell transplantation-based therapies may hold great potential, direct reprogramming of endogenous cardiac fibroblasts, which represent more than half of the cells in the heart, into functional cardiomyocytes in situ may be an alternative strategy by which to regenerate the heart. We and others demonstrated that functional cardiomyocytes can be directly generated from fibroblasts by using several combinations of cardiac-enriched factors in mouse and human. In vivo gene delivery of cardiac reprogramming factors generates new cardiac muscle and improved heart function after myocardial infarction in mouse. This article reviews recent progress in cardiac reprogramming research and discusses the perspectives and challenges of this new technology for future regenerative therapy. ©

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)21-37
Number of pages17
JournalAnnual Review of Physiology
Publication statusPublished - 2014 Feb
Externally publishedYes


  • Cardiac regeneration
  • Heart
  • Heart failure
  • Induced cardiomyocytes
  • Stem cell

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Physiology


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