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Environmental Adaptation of Cardiac Interstitial Cells

The biological properties and functional activities of c‐Kit+ adult cardiac interstitial cells, or cCICs, continue to elude researchers despite decades of investigation; however, researchers led by Mark A. Sussman (San Diego State University, San Diego, CA, USA) recently discovered that developmental environmental cues influence their phenotypic properties. Reporting in a new STEM CELLS Translational Medicine article, Wang et al. discovered that while the delivery of cCICs into early embryonic blastocysts leads to trophectoderm integration with exclusion from the inner cell mass, the introduction of cCICs into the developing myocardium of late fetal or early postnatal hearts resulted in extended persistence and acquisition of phenotypic traits consistent with fibroblasts. Overall, the authors believe that their findings support the rationale for cCIC therapy in the context of congenital and pediatric cardiomyopathic conditions.