Cardiac differentiation of P19CL6 cells by oxytocin

Fardin Fathi, Satoshi Murasawa, Satoshi Hasegawa, Takayuki Asahara, Abbas Jafari Kermani, Seyed Javad Mowla
International Journal of Cardiology 2009 May 1, 134 (1): 75-81

BACKGROUND: It has been reported that P19 embryonal carcinoma (EC) cells differentiate into beating cardiomyocytes under the action of oxytocin (OT). It has been suggested that dimethylsulfoxide (DMSO) acts via the oxytocin/oxytocin receptor pathway because an oxytocin receptor antagonist not only blocks oxytocin-induced cardiomyocyte differentiation, but also blocks DMSO-induced differentiation. In this study, the differentiation ability of OT was tested using P19CL6 cells.

METHODS: P19CL6 cells were cultured as a confluent monolayer and aggregated cells. OT was then added to culture media as an inducing agent. The cells treated with 1% DMSO were used as a positive control group. Differentiated cells were evaluated morphologically and immunocytochemically, as well as by RT-PCR. In addition, a stable line of green fluorescent protein (GFP)-expressing P19CL6 cells were differentiated into beating cardiomyocytes by OT.

RESULTS: Aggregated P19CL6 cells could be differentiated into cardiomyocytes, whereas monolayer cells could not differentiate and express specific cardiac muscle marker genes. In the control group, both aggregates and monolayer cells could be differentiated into cardiomyocytes by DMSO. In addition, GFP-expressing P19CL6 cells differentiated efficiently into beating cardiomyocytes when treated with OT. The results of all evaluations confirmed that the differentiated cells were cardiomyocytes.

CONCLUSIONS: We concluded that embryoid body formation (cell aggregation) is necessary for the differentiation of P19CL6 cells into cardiomyocytes when using OT as an inducer agent. Furthermore, because of the high rate of differentiation efficiency, GFP-expressing cardiomyocytes derived from P19CL6 cells have the potential to be used for regenerative therapies in experimental models.

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