Dynamic mitochondrial changes during differentiation of P19 embryonic carcinoma cells into cardiomyocytes

Jin Jin, Qin-Kao Xuan, Li-Juan Zhou, Chun-Mei Shi, Gui-Xian Song, Yan-Hui Sheng, Ling-Mei Qian
Molecular Medicine Reports 2014, 10 (2): 761-6
Murine P19 embryonal carcinoma cells are multipotent cells that can differentiate into cardiomyocytes when treated with dimethyl sulfoxide. This experimental model provides an invaluable tool to study different aspects of cardiac differentiation, such as the function of cardiac‑specific transcription factors and signaling pathways, and the regulation of contractile protein expression. The role of mitochondria during cardiac differentiation is unclear. In this context, we have examined the mitochondrial-related changes in undifferentiated and differentiated P19 cells. We observed that mitochondrial DNA content sharply decreased in P19 cell aggregates compared to undifferentiated cells, accompanied by decreased levels of adenosine triphosphate (ATP) and reactive oxygen species (ROS). Following the aggregation stage, the mitochondrial DNA content reached its highest level on day 7 of the differentiation process, with the intracellular ROS level showing a trend to increase, similar to cellular ATP production. In conclusion, our study on differentiating P19 embryonal carcinoma cells provides new insights into the role of mitochondria in the differentiation of P19 stem cells into beating cardiomyocytes.

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