The heterocellular nature of the heart has been receiving increasing attention in recent years. In addition to cardiomyocytes as the prototypical cell type of the heart, non-myocytes such as endothelial cells, fibroblasts, or immune cells are coming more into focus. The rise of single-cell sequencing technologies enables identification of ever more subtle differences and has reignited the question of what defines a cell’s identity. Here we provide an overview of the major cardiac cell types, describe their roles in homeostasis, and outline recent findings on non-canonical functions that may be of relevance for cardiology. We highlight modes of biochemical and biophysical interactions between different cardiac cell types and discuss the potential implications of the heterocellular nature of the heart for basic research and therapeutic interventions.
Lother A & Kohl P. The heterocellular heart: identities, interactions, and implications for cardiology. Basic Res Cardiol. 2023;118(1):30.