Dynamics of Cell Generation and Turnover in the Human Heart.

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle


The contribution of cell generation to physiological heart growth and maintenance in humans has been difficult to establish and has remained controversial. We report that the full complement of cardiomyocytes is established perinataly and remains stable over the human lifespan, whereas the numbers of both endothelial and mesenchymal cells increase substantially from birth to early adulthood. Analysis of the integration of nuclear bomb test-derived (14)C revealed a high turnover rate of endothelial cells throughout life (>15% per year) and more limited renewal of mesenchymal cells (<4% per year in adulthood). Cardiomyocyte exchange is highest in early childhood and decreases gradually throughout life to <1% per year in adulthood, with similar turnover rates in the major subdivisions of the myocardium. We provide an integrated model of cell generation and turnover in the human heart. VIDEO ABSTRACT.


  • Olaf Bergmann
  • Sofia Zdunek
  • Anastasia Felker
  • Mehran Salehpour
  • Kanar Alkass
  • Samuel Bernard
  • Staffan L Sjostrom
  • Mirosława Szewczykowska
  • Teresa Jackowska
  • Cris Dos Remedios
  • Torsten Malm
  • Michaela Andrä
  • Ramadan Jashari
  • Jens R Nyengaard
  • Göran Possnert
  • Stefan Jovinge
  • Henrik Druid
  • Jonas Frisén
Research areas and keywords

Subject classification (UKÄ) – MANDATORY

  • Cell and Molecular Biology
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1566-1575
Issue number7
Publication statusPublished - 2015
Publication categoryResearch