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Metabolic Alterations and Cardiac Cell Function

A new STEM CELLS Translational Medicine article from the lab of Mohsin Khan (Lewis Katz School of Medicine, Temple University, Philadelphia, PA, USA) now reports that cardiac tissue stem‐like cells (CTSCs) derived from neonatal and aged mouse hearts exhibit unique gene expression patterns. Kurian et al. established that neonatal CTSCs express metabolism-related genes that increase the functional properties of the cells; however, adverse changes in the expression of said genes associates with the decreased function that accompanies the aging process. Additionally, this fascinating new study reports a novel role for mitochondrial protein uncoupling protein 2 (UCP2) in mediating beneficial effects on neonatal CTSCs. Importantly, the loss of UCP2 with age or in neonatal CTSCs blocks beneficial effects of metabolism on cellular function.