Progenitor cells may contribute to cardiac regeneration. Here, we investigated the role of cadherins and integrins for differentiation of human adult circulating endothelial progenitor cells (EPCs) into cardiomyocytes (CM) in a co-culture system. N- and E-cadherin were expressed in EPCs and were localized at the interface between EPCs and CM. Incubation of a blocking antibody against E-cadherin reduced the expression of CM marker protein in EPCs. Blocking antibodies against N- or P-cadherin or the β1- and β2-integrins were not effective. These data suggested that cell-to-cell communication mediated by E-cadherin contributes to the acquirement of a cardiomyogenic phenotype of human endothelial progenitor cells.
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