Anacardic acid and thyroid hormone enhance cardiomyocytes production from undifferentiated mouse ES cells along functionally distinct pathways
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The epigenetics of early commitment to embryonal cardiomyocyte is poorly understood. In this work, we compared the effect of thyroid hormone and that of anacardic acid, a naturally occurring histone acetylase inhibitor, or both in combination, on mouse embryonic stem cells (mES) differentiating into embryonal cardiomyocyte by embryoid bodies (EBs) formation. Although the results indicated that anacardic acid (AA) and thyroid hormone were both efficient in promoting cardiomyocyte differentiation, we noticed that a transient exposure of mES to AA alone was sufficient to enlarge the beating areas of EBs compared to those of untreated controls. This effect was associated with changes in the chromatin structure at the promoters of specific cardiomyogenic genes. Among them, a rapid induction of the transcription factor Castor 1 (CASZ1), important for cardiomyocytes differentiation and maturation during embryonic development, was observed in the presence of AA. In contrast, thyroid hormone (T 3) was more effective in stimulating spontaneous firing, thus suggesting a role in the production of a population of cardiomyocyte with pacemaker properties. In conclusion, AA and thyroid hormone both enhanced cardiomyocyte formation along in apparently distinct pathways.