Stacey L. Rentschler, M.D., Ph.D.

Associate Professor
Internal Medicine
Cardiovascular Medicine
Developmental Biology

Developmental, Regenerative and Stem Cell Biology Program

  • 314-362-6212

  • 314-362-6214

  • 314-362-7058

  • 309 McDonnell Science Bldg


  • conduction system, reprogramming, heart development, Notch, arrhythmia, regenerative medicine, mouse models

  • Direct reprogramming of cells into specialized cardiac conduction tissues

Research Abstract:

Our work is focused in two broad areas:
(1) Developmental Programming and Reprogramming of Conduction Tissue
The cardiac conduction system arises from lineage specification of cardiomyocyte progenitors and functions to generate and propagate electrical impulses within the heart. Our laboratory is seeking to identify the molecular mechanisms that instruct cardiomyocytes to become conduction cells both in vitro and in vivo. We have demonstrated that activation of the Notch signaling pathways at later stages of maturation can reprogram differentiated cardiomyocytes into conduction-like cells. Deciphering the developmental signals that instruct cells to adopt a conduction phenotype may ultimately provide insight into regenerative approaches, such as the development of a biologic pacemaker.
(2) Developmental Basis of Congenital Arrhythmias
Conduction disorders are a significant cause of morbidity and mortality. Wolff-Parkinson-White (WPW) syndrome affects 1 in 500 people and is characterized by accessory atrioventricular pathways in the heart which bypass the normal conduction system and can result in ventricular preexcitation, palpitations, and sudden cardiac death. Our laboratory uses novel genetically modified mouse models to study the developmental processes that go awry to produce functional ectopic myocardial tissue.

Selected Publications:

Addis RC, Ifkovits JL, Pinto F, Kellam LK, Esteso P, Rentschler S, Christoforou N, Epstein JA, and Gearhart JD. (2013) Optimization of Direct Fibroblast Reprogramming to Cardiomyocytes using Calcium Activity as a Functional Measure of Success. JMCC (in press)

Rentschler S*, Yen AH, Lu J, Petrenko NB, Lu MM, Manderfield, LJ, Patel VV, Fishman GI, Epstein JA. (2012). Myocardial Notch Signaling Reprograms Cardiomyocytes to a Conduction-Like Phenotype. Circulation, 126(9):1058-66. PMCID: PMC3607542
*corresponding author

Manderfield L, High F, Engleka K, Liu F, Li L, Rentschler S, Epstein JA. (2012). Notch Activation of Jagged-1 Contributes to the Assembly of the Arterial Wall. Circulation, 125(2):314-23. PMCID: PMC3260393

Rentschler S, Harris BS, Kuznekoff L, Jain R, Manderfield L, Lu M, Morley GE, Patel VV, Epstein JA. (2011). Notch Signaling Regulates Murine Atrioventricular Conduction and Formation of Accessory Pathways. Journal of Clinical Investigation, 121(2):525-33. PMCID: PMC3026731

Jain R, Engleka KA, Rentschler S, Yuan L, Li L, Epstein JA. Cardiac Neural Crest Orchestrates Remodeling and Functional Maturation of the Semilunar Valves. (2011). Journal of Clinical Investigation, 121(1):422-30. PMCID: PMC3007154

Rentschler S and Epstein JA. (2011). Kicking the Epicardium up a Notch. Circulation Research, 108(1):6-8.

Jain R, Rentschler S, Epstein JA. (2010). Notch and Cardiac Outflow Tract Development. Annals of the New York Academy of Sciences, 1188:184-90 PMCID: PMC2975619

Rentschler S, Jain R, Epstein JA. Tissue-Tissue Interactions During Morphogenesis of the Outflow Tract. (2010). Pediatric Cardiology, 31(3):408-13 PMCID: PMC2951316

Rentschler S, Zander J, Burns K, France D, Levine R, Porter G, Rivkees SA, Morley GE, Fishman GI. (2002). Neuregulin-1 promotes formation of the murine cardiac conduction system. Proceedings of the National Academy of Science, 99:10464-9. PMCID: PMC124940

Rentschler S, Vaidya DM, Tamaddon H, Degenhardt K, Sassoon D, Morley GE, Jalife J, Fishman GI. (2001). Visualization and functional characterization of the developing murine cardiac conduction system. Development, 128:1785-92.

Last Updated: 4/15/2013 10:13:31 AM

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