The heart is a complex organ consisting of various cell types, each of which plays an important role in both physiological and pathophysiological conditions. The cells communicate with each other through direct cell-cell interactions and paracrine signaling, and both homotypic and heterotypic cell interactions contribute to the organized structure and proper function of the heart. Cardiomyocytes (CMs) and endothelial cells (ECs) are two of the most abundant cardiac cell types and they also play central roles in both cardiac remodeling and regeneration. The postnatal cell cycle withdrawal of CMs, which takes place within days or weeks after birth, represents the major barrier for regeneration in adult mammalian hearts, as adult CMs exhibit a very low proliferative capacity. Recent evidence highlights the importance of ECs not only as the most abundant cell type in the heart but also as key players in post-infarction remodeling and regeneration. In this MiniReview, we focus on blood vascular ECs and CMs and their roles and interactions in cardiac physiology and pathologies, with a special emphasis on cardiac regeneration. We summarize the known mediators of the bidirectional CM-EC interactions and discuss the related recent advances in the development of therapies aiming to promote heart repair and regeneration targeting these two cell types.
- 3121 Yleislääketiede, sisätaudit ja muut kliiniset lääketieteet