Injury-associated reacquiring of intestinal stem cell function

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7 Citations (Scopus)


Epithelial layer of the intestine relies upon stem cells for maintaining homeostasis and regeneration. Two types of stem cells are currently defined in intestinal crypts: the cycling crypt base columnar cells and quiescent cells. Though several candidate markers and regulators of rapidly cycling and quiescent stem cells have been identified so far, the exact nature of quiescent cells is still questionable since investigations mainly focused on candidate markers rather than the label-retaining population itself. Recent results, however, have strengthened the argument for functional plasticity. Using a lineage tracing strategy label-retaining cells (LRCs) of the intestinal epithelium were marked, then followed by a pulse-chase analysis it was found that during homeostasis, LRCs were Lgr5-positive and were destined to become Paneth and neuroendocrine cells. Nevertheless, it was demonstrated that LRCs are capable of clonogenic growth by recall to the self-renewing pool of stem cells in case of epithelial injury. These new findings highlight on the hierarchical and spatial organization of intestinal epithelial homeostasis and the important plasticity of progenitors during tissue regeneration, moreover, provide a motivation for studying their role in disorders like colorectal cancer.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)2005-2010
Number of pages6
JournalWorld journal of gastroenterology
Issue number7
Publication statusPublished - Feb 21 2015


  • Epithelium
  • Injury
  • Intestine
  • Label-retaining cells
  • Lgr5
  • Stem cell

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Gastroenterology

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