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Keywords:

  • cardiac development;
  • cardiac differentiation;
  • cardiac regeneration;
  • proliferation

The regulation of cardiomyocyte proliferation is important for heart development and regeneration. The proliferation patterns of cardiomyocytes are closely related to heart morphogenesis, size, and functions. The proliferation levels are high during early embryogenesis; however, mammalian cardiomyocytes exit the cell cycle irreversibly soon after birth. The cell cycle exit inhibits cardiac regeneration in mammals. On the other hand, cardiomyocytes of adult zebrafish and probably newts can proliferate after cardiac injury, and the hearts can be regenerated. Therefore, the ability to reproliferate determines regenerative ability. As in other cells, the relationship between proliferation and differentiation is very interesting, and is closely related to cardiac development, regeneration and homeostasis. In this review, these topics are discussed.