Human induced pluripotent stem cells (iPSCs) are a type of pluripotent stem cell which can be generated from easily accessible patient cells, such as peripheral blood mononuclear cells and skin fibroblasts. As iPSCs are epigenetically reprogrammed from somatic cells, they retain all genetic information of the affected patients, thus providing an ideal model for studying the contribution of genetic variation to pediatric cardiovascular disease. In addition, human iPSCs can be differentiated into cardiomyocytes, endothelial cells, smooth muscle cells and cardiac fibroblasts, which are major affected cell types in the heart responsible for cardiovascular disease. Therefore, patient-specific iPSCs possess great promise in modeling pediatric cardiovascular disease, discovering novel drugs and prospective cell regeneration therapy.
The DNA from these patients will be analyzed for point mutations, rare sequence variations, single nucleotide polymorphisms in known cardiac development genes or for chromosomal copy number changes by using state of the art genetic approaches.
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