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Cardiomyocytes and Endothelial Cells

Group Leader
Nasser Aghdami, MD, Ph.D
Nasser Aghdami received his MD from Urmia University of Medical Sciences in 1998 and his Ph.D in Immunology from Tarbiat Modarres University in 2007. From 2006-2008 he was the Head of the Transplantation Laboratory at Royan institute. From 2008 Since 2008 he is the Head of the Department of Regenerative Medicine and Royan Cell Therapy Center.

Bahareh Adhami Mojarad (M.Sc)
Manijeh Ajdari (M.Sc)
Faranak Fattahi (M.Sc)
Hananeh Fonodi (M.Sc)
Xaniar Ghazi Zadeh (MD)
Mehrnaz Namiri (Ph.D)
Sareh Rajabi (Ph.D)
Sadaf Vahdat (M.Sc)

Our group seeks to explore the biological mechanisms of cardiomyocytes. Additionally, we research methods for proliferation and differentiation of different types of stem cells such as human embryonic stem cells, iPS, and cardiac stem cells to cardiomyocytes and modification of these methods for gaining functional cardiomyocytes with the same characteristics as a real cardiomyocyte.
Differentiation of human embryonic stem cells (hESCs) into cardiomyocytes with current protocols is inefficient, which has lead to limited application of these potent cells in drug discovery and clinics. ISL1 is one of the cardiac transcription factors whose overexpression can improve the expression of cardiac-specific markers. However, genetic manipulation of hESCs is labor intensive and has low efficiency. On the other hand, these cells are not safe enough for clinic use. As a result, we have tried to enhance the cardiac differentiation efficiency of hESCs by transduction of the ISL1 protein.
Human induced pluripotent stem cells (hiPSCs) have the potential to provide an unlimited source of cardiomyocytes that offers a precious tool for drug discovery and regenerative medicine. However, this application is limited due to difficulties in large-scale expansion of hiPSCs in adherent culture conditions and insufficient efficiency of differentiation protocols. In order to overcome these problems, we present an efficient protocol for expansion and differentiation of hiPSCs in suspension as spheroids.
Separation and culture of cardiac stem cells from heart biopsies is another activity in this group. Expansion and differentiation of these cells can increase our knowledge about heart regeneration in patients with congenital heart disorders (i.e., VSA or ASD).
Following these activities, we have created animal models for heart disease such as cardiomyopathy by doxorubicin and infarction by ligation of LAD in rats in order to test the functionality of our differentiated cells.

Cardiac stem cells derived sphere plated during cardiomyogenic differentiation

•    Quantum dot labeling using positive charged peptides in human hematopoetic and mesenchymal stem cells. Ranibarvaziri S, Kiani S, Akhlaghi A, Vosough A, Baharvand H, Aghdami N. Biomaterials. 2011;32(22):5195-205.

•    Lack of beneficial effects of granulocyte colony-stimulating factor in patients with subacute myocardial infarction undergoing late revascularization: A double-blind, randomized, placebo-controlled clinical trial. Karimabad HM, Shabestari M, Baharvand H, Vosough A, Gourabi H, Shahverdi A, Shamsian A, Abdolhoseini S, Moazzami K, Marjanimehr MM, Emami F, Bidkhori HR, Hamedanchi A, Talebi S, Farrokhi F, Jabbari-Azad F, Fadavi M, Garivani U, Mahmoodi M, Aghdami N. Acta Cardiol. 2011;66(2):219-24.


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