Valvular heart disease presents a significant health burden, yet advancements in valve biology and therapeutics have been hindered by the lack of accessibility to human valve cells. In this study, we have developed a scalable and feeder-free method to differentiate human induced pluripotent stem cells (iPSCs) into endocardial cells, which are transcriptionally and phenotypically distinct from vascular endothelial cells. These endocardial cells can be challenged to undergo endothelial-to-mesenchymal transition (EndMT), after which two distinct populations emerge—one population undergoes EndMT to become valvular interstitial cells (VICs), while the other population reinforces their endothelial identity to become valvular endothelial cells (VECs). We then characterized these populations through bulk RNA-seq transcriptome analyses and compared our VIC and VEC populations to pseudobulk data generated from normal valve tissue of a 15-week-old human fetus. By increasing the accessibility to these cell populations, we aim to accelerate discoveries for cardiac valve biology and disease.

Original languageEnglish
Article number108599
Issue number1
StatePublished - 19 Jan 2024


  • Biological sciences
  • Cardiology
  • Developmental biology
  • Stem cell research


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