Physiological and pathological role of local and immigrating colonic stem cells

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15 Citations (Scopus)


The latest avenue of research is revealing the existence of and role for the colonic stem cells in the physiological renewal of the mucosa and in pathological circumstances where they have both positive and negative effects. In the case of human colon, different levels of stem cell compartments exist. First, the crypt epithelial stem cells, which have a role in the normal crypt epithelial cell dynamics and in colorectal carcinogenesis. Close to the crypts, the second layer of stem cells can be found; the local subepithelial stem cell niche, including the pericryptic subepithelial myofibroblasts that regulate the epithelial cell differentiation and have a crucial role in cancer progression and chronic inflammation-related fibrosis. The third level of stem cell compartment is the immigrating bone-marrow-derived stem cells, which have an important role in wound healing after severe mucosal inflammation, but are also involved in cancer invasion. This paper focuses on stem cell biology in the context of physiological and pathological processes in the human colon.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)295-301
Number of pages7
JournalWorld journal of gastroenterology
Issue number4
Publication statusPublished - Jan 28 2012


  • Bone marrow
  • Colon
  • Colorectal cancer
  • Fibrosis
  • Mesencyhmal stem cells
  • Myofibroblast
  • Parathyroid hormone
  • Transforming growth factor-β

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Gastroenterology

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