CarD – NCN

Project CaRD (Cardiac and Rheumatic Diseases) OPUS 13 – NCN

Title: Mechanisms of cardiovascular complications in rheumatoid arthritis patients: induced pluripotent stem cell-derived cardiomyocytes as an experimental model

Goal of this proposal

The aim of this project is to uncover the mechanisms by which patients with rheumatoid arthritis (RA) may have an elevated risk of cardiovascular complications. In particular, we will determine the role of the inflamed joint microenvironment in promoting cellular bioenergetics of cardiomyocytes. In this study we will use the induced pluripotent stem cells (iPSC) technology that will allow us to obtain the patient-specific cardiomyocytes. Briefly, control and RA-specific peripheral blood mononuclear cells will be used to generate human iPSC. iPSC will then be differentiated into control and RA cardiomyocytes (CMs). Using iPSC-CMs derived from RA patients and controls will provide a unique opportunity to investigate the pathophysiology of cardiac involvement in RA. Understanding of these mechanisms may further provide evidence whether RA-iPSC-CM may serve as a tool to evaluate drug toxicity, become a potential mirror disease in vitro and serve as a preclinical platform for precision medicine

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