Nat Commun. 2022 Nov 15;13(1):6981. doi: 10.1038/s41467-022-34730-7.


The epicardium, the outer epithelial layer that covers the myocardium, derives from a transient organ known as pro-epicardium, crucial during heart organogenesis. The pro-epicardium develops from lateral plate mesoderm progenitors, next to septum transversum mesenchyme, a structure deeply involved in liver embryogenesis. Here we describe a self-organized human multilineage organoid that recreates the co-emergence of pro-epicardium, septum transversum mesenchyme and liver bud. Additionally, we study the impact of WNT, BMP and retinoic acid signaling modulation on multilineage organoid specification. By co-culturing these organoids with cardiomyocyte aggregates, we generated a self-organized heart organoid comprising an epicardium-like layer that fully surrounds a myocardium-like tissue. These heart organoids recapitulate the impact of epicardial cells on promoting cardiomyocyte proliferation and structural and functional maturation. Therefore, the human heart organoids described herein, open the path to advancing knowledge on how myocardium-epicardium interaction progresses during heart organogenesis in healthy or diseased settings.

PMID:36379937 | DOI:10.1038/s41467-022-34730-7