Intestinal stem cells and their roles during mucosal injury and repair.

Department of Surgery, Division of Pediatric Surgery, Children's Hospital of Pittsburgh of UPMC and the University of Pittsburgh, Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania 15224, USA.
Journal of Surgical Research (Impact Factor: 2.12). 05/2011; 167(1):1-8. DOI: 10.1016/j.jss.2010.04.037
Source: PubMed

ABSTRACT The ability of the host to respond to intestinal injury requires the regeneration of native tissue through a highly orchestrated response from the intestinal stem cells, a population of cells located within the intestinal crypts that have the capability to repopulate the entire villous. The field of intestinal stem cell biology is thus of great interest to surgeons and non-surgeons alike, given its relevance to diseases of intestinal injury and inflammation such as inflammatory bowel disease, trauma, and necrotizing enterocolitis. The field of intestinal stem cell research has been advanced recently by the identification of the putative marker, Lgr5, which has allowed for the isolation and further characterization of the intestinal stem cell. Under the control of the WNT signaling pathway, Lgr5 marks the rapidly dividing cells of the intestinal crypt, and identifies a population of cells that is capable of regenerating the entire villous. We now review the identification of Lgr5 as an intestinal stem cell marker, identify controversies in the intestinal stem cell field, and highlight the response of the intestinal stem cell to injury within the intestinal mucosa that may occur clinically.

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May 31, 2014