Comprehensive Cardiotoxicity Assessment of COVID-19 Treatments Using Human-Induced Pluripotent Stem Cell-Derived Cardiomyocytes

Shota Yanagida, Ayano Satsuka, Sayo Hayashi, Atsushi Ono, Yasunari Kanda

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

11 Citations (Scopus)


Coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) continues to spread across the globe, with numerous clinical trials underway seeking to develop and test effective COVID-19 therapies, including remdesivir. Several ongoing studies have reported hydroxychloroquine-induced cardiotoxicity, including development of torsade de pointes (TdP). Meanwhile, human-induced pluripotent stem cell-derived cardiomyocytes (hiPSC-CMs) are expected to serve as a tool for assessing drug-induced cardiotoxicity, such as TdP and contraction impairment. However, the cardiotoxicity of COVID-19 treatments has not been fully assessed using hiPSC-CMs. In this study, we focused on drug repurposing with various modes of actions and examined the TdP risk associated with COVID-19 treatments using field potential using multi-electrode array system and motion analysis with hiPSC-CMs. Hydroxychloroquine induced early after depolarization, while remdesivir, favipiravir, camostat, and ivermectin had little effect on field potentials. We then analyzed electromechanical window, which is defined as the difference between field potential and contraction-relaxation durations. Hydroxychloroquine decreased electromechanical window of hiPSC-CMs in a concentration-dependent manner. In contrast, other drugs had little effect. Our data suggest that hydroxychloroquine has proarrhythmic risk and other drugs have low proarrhythmic risk. Thus, hiPSC-CMs represent a useful tool for assessing the comprehensive cardiotoxicity caused by COVID-19 treatments in nonclinical settings.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)227-239
Number of pages13
JournalToxicological Sciences
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - Sept 1 2021


  • contractility
  • COVID-19
  • electromechanical window
  • hiPSC-CMs
  • proarrhythmia

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Toxicology


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