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Collagen/β1 integrin interaction is required for embryoid body formation during cardiogenesis from murine induced pluripotent stem cells

Di Zeng, Dong-Bo Ou, Ting Wei, Lu Ding, Xiong-Tao Liu, Xin-Lin Hu, Xue Li and Qiang-Sun Zheng*

Author Affiliations

Department of Cardiology, Tangdu Hospital, Fourth Military Medical University, Xi'an, 710038, China

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BMC Cell Biology 2013, 14:5  doi:10.1186/1471-2121-14-5

Published: 25 January 2013



The interactions between stem cells and extracellular matrix (ECM) mediated by integrins play important roles in the processes that determine stem cell fate. However, the role of ECM/integrin interaction in the formation of embryoid bodies (EBs) during cardiogenesis from murine induced pluripotent stem cells (miPSCs) remains unclear.


In the present study, collagen type I and β1 integrin were expressed and upregulated synergistically during the formation of miPSC-derived EBs, with a peak expression at day 3 of differentiation. The blockage of collagen/β1 integrin interaction by β1 integrin blocking antibody resulted in the production of defective EBs that were characterized by decreased size and the absence of a shell-like layer composed of primitive endoderm cells. The quantification of spontaneous beating activity, cardiac-specific gene expression and cardiac troponin T (cTnT) immunostaining showed that the cardiac differentiation of these defective miPSC-derived EBs was lower than that of control EBs.


These findings indicate that collagen/β1 integrin interaction is required for the growth and cardiac differentiation of miPSC-derived EBs and will be helpful in future engineering of the matrix microenvironment within EBs to efficiently direct the cardiac fate of pluripotent stem cells to promote cardiovascular regeneration.

Collagen/β1 integrin interaction; Embryoid body; Cardiac differentiation; Induced pluripotent stem cell