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Abstract

Human embryonic stem (HES) cells are pluripotent and give rise to any cell lineage. More specifically, how the first embryonic lineage (i.e., cardiac lineage) is acquired remains in many aspects questionable. Herein, we summarize the protocols that have been used to direct the fate of HES cells toward the cardiomyocytic lineage. We further discuss the regulation of transcriptional pathways underlying this process of differentiation. Finally, we propose perspectives of this research in the near future. J. Cell. Physiol. 218: 455–459, 2009. © 2008 Wiley-Liss, Inc.