Regulation of cardiomyocyte maturation during critical perinatal window

Suraj Kannan, Chulan Kwon

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

13 Scopus citations


A primary limitation in the use of pluripotent stem cell-derived cardiomyocytes (PSC-CMs) for both patient health and scientific investigation is the failure of these cells to achieve full functional maturity. In vivo, cardiomyocytes undergo numerous adaptive structural, functional and metabolic changes during maturation. By contrast, PSC-CMs fail to fully undergo these developmental processes, instead remaining arrested at an embryonic stage of maturation. There is thus a significant need to understand the biological processes underlying proper CM maturation in vivo. Here, we discuss what is known regarding the initiation and coordination of CM maturation. We postulate that there is a critical perinatal window, ranging from embryonic day 18.5 to postnatal day 14 in mice, in which the maturation process is exquisitely sensitive to perturbation. While the initiation mechanisms of this process are unknown, it is increasingly clear that maturation proceeds through interconnected regulatory circuits that feed into one another to coordinate concomitant structural, functional and metabolic CM maturation. We highlight PGC1α, SRF and the MEF2 family as transcription factors that may potentially mediate this cross-talk. We lastly discuss several emerging technologies that will facilitate future studies into the mechanisms of CM maturation. Further study will not only produce a better understanding of its key processes, but provide practical insights into developing a robust strategy to produce mature PSC-CMs.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)2941-2956
Number of pages16
JournalJournal of Physiology
Issue number14
StatePublished - Jul 1 2020


  • cardiac
  • cardiomyocyte
  • disease modeling
  • maturation
  • pluripotent stem cells
  • regenerative medicine

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Physiology


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