Enhancement of pacing function by HCN4 overexpression in human pluripotent stem cell-derived cardiomyocytes

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Background: The number of patients with bradyarrhythmia and the number of patients with cardiac pacemakers are increasing with the aging population and the increase in the number of patients with heart diseases. Some patients in whom a cardiac pacemaker has been implanted experience problems such as pacemaker infection and inconvenience due to electromagnetic interference. We have reported that overexpression of HCN channels producing a pacemaker current in mouse embryonic stem cell-derived cardiomyocytes showed enhanced pacing function in vitro and in vivo. The aim of this study was to determine whether HCN4 overexpression in human induced pluripotent stem cell-derived cardiomyocytes (iPSC-CMs) can strengthen the pacing function of the cells. Methods: Human HCN4 was transduced in the AAVS1 locus of human induced pluripotent stem cells by nucleofection and HCN4-overexpressing iPSC-CMs were generated. Gene expression profiles, frequencies of spontaneous contraction and pacing abilities of HCN4-overexpressing and non-overexpressing iPSC-CMs in vitro were compared. Results: HCN4-overexpressing iPSC-CMs showed higher spontaneous contraction rates than those of non-overexpressing iPSC-CMs. They responded to an HCN channel blocker and β adrenergic stimulation. The pacing rates against parent iPSC line-derived cardiomyocytes were also higher in HCN4-overexpressing iPSC-CMs than in non-overexpressing iPSC-CMs. Conclusions: Overexpression of HCN4 showed enhancement of If current, spontaneous firing and pacing function in iPSC-CMs. These data suggest this transgenic cell line may be useful as a cardiac pacemaker.

Original languageEnglish
Article number141
JournalStem Cell Research and Therapy
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - Dec 2022


  • Human induced pluripotent stem cell-derived cardiomyocytes
  • Hyperpolarization-activated cyclic nucleotide-gated potassium channel 4
  • Pacing

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Medicine (miscellaneous)
  • Molecular Medicine
  • Biochemistry, Genetics and Molecular Biology (miscellaneous)
  • Cell Biology


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