In vitro expansion of single Lgr5(+) liver stem cells induced by Wnt-driven regeneration.
ABSTRACT The Wnt target gene Lgr5 (leucine-rich-repeat-containing G-protein-coupled receptor 5) marks actively dividing stem cells in Wnt-driven, self-renewing tissues such as small intestine and colon, stomach and hair follicles. A three-dimensional culture system allows long-term clonal expansion of single Lgr5(+) stem cells into transplantable organoids (budding cysts) that retain many characteristics of the original epithelial architecture. A crucial component of the culture medium is the Wnt agonist RSPO1, the recently discovered ligand of LGR5. Here we show that Lgr5-lacZ is not expressed in healthy adult liver, however, small Lgr5-LacZ(+) cells appear near bile ducts upon damage, coinciding with robust activation of Wnt signalling. As shown by mouse lineage tracing using a new Lgr5-IRES-creERT2 knock-in allele, damage-induced Lgr5(+) cells generate hepatocytes and bile ducts in vivo. Single Lgr5(+) cells from damaged mouse liver can be clonally expanded as organoids in Rspo1-based culture medium over several months. Such clonal organoids can be induced to differentiate in vitro and to generate functional hepatocytes upon transplantation into Fah(-/-) mice. These findings indicate that previous observations concerning Lgr5(+) stem cells in actively self-renewing tissues can also be extended to damage-induced stem cells in a tissue with a low rate of spontaneous proliferation.
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ABSTRACT: Circadian clocks and metabolism are inextricably intertwined, where central and hepatic circadian clocks coordinate metabolic events in response to light-dark and sleep-wake cycles. We reveal an additional key element involved in maintaining host circadian rhythms, the gut microbiome. Despite persistence of light-dark signals, germ-free mice fed low or high-fat diets exhibit markedly impaired central and hepatic circadian clock gene expression and do not gain weight compared to conventionally raised counterparts. Examination of gut microbiota in conventionally raised mice showed differential diurnal variation in microbial structure and function dependent upon dietary composition. Additionally, specific microbial metabolites induced under low- or high-fat feeding, particularly short-chain fatty acids, but not hydrogen sulfide, directly modulate circadian clock gene expression within hepatocytes. These results underscore the ability of microbially derived metabolites to regulate or modify central and hepatic circadian rhythm and host metabolic function, the latter following intake of a Westernized diet. Copyright © 2015 Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.Cell host & microbe 04/2015; DOI:10.1016/j.chom.2015.03.006 · 12.19 Impact Factor
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ABSTRACT: Hepatocellular carcinoma (HCC) is the most prevalent subtype of liver cancer, and it is characterized by a high rate of recurrence and heterogeneity. Liver cancer stem cells (CSCs) may well contribute to both of these pathological properties, but the mechanisms underlying their self-renewal and maintenance are poorly understood. Here, using transcriptome microarray analysis, we identified a long noncoding RNA (lncRNA) termed lncTCF7 that is highly expressed in HCC tumors and liver CSCs. LncTCF7 is required for liver CSC self-renewal and tumor propagation. Mechanistically, lncTCF7 recruits the SWI/SNF complex to the promoter of TCF7 to regulate its expression, leading to activation of Wnt signaling. Our data suggest that lncTCF7-mediated Wnt signaling primes liver CSC self-renewal and tumor propagation. In sum, therefore, we have identified an lncRNA-based Wnt signaling regulatory circuit that promotes tumorigenic activity in liver cancer stem cells, highlighting the role that lncRNAs can play in tumor growth and propagation. Copyright © 2015 Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.Cell stem cell 04/2015; 16(4). DOI:10.1016/j.stem.2015.03.003 · 22.15 Impact Factor
01/2014; 2(1):28. DOI:10.1186/2052-8426-2-28