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Nature. 2009 May 14;459(7244):262-5. doi: 10.1038/nature07935. Epub 2009 Mar 29.

Single Lgr5 stem cells build crypt-villus structures in vitro without a mesenchymal niche.

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  • 1Hubrecht Institute and University Medical Center Utrecht, Uppsalalaan 8, 3584CT Utrecht, The Netherlands.

Abstract

The intestinal epithelium is the most rapidly self-renewing tissue in adult mammals. We have recently demonstrated the presence of about six cycling Lgr5(+) stem cells at the bottoms of small-intestinal crypts. Here we describe the establishment of long-term culture conditions under which single crypts undergo multiple crypt fission events, while simultanously generating villus-like epithelial domains in which all differentiated cell types are present. Single sorted Lgr5(+) stem cells can also initiate these cryptvillus organoids. Tracing experiments indicate that the Lgr5(+) stem-cell hierarchy is maintained in organoids. We conclude that intestinal cryptvillus units are self-organizing structures, which can be built from a single stem cell in the absence of a non-epithelial cellular niche.

PMID:
19329995
[PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]
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