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J Cell Sci. 2002 May 1;115(Pt 9):1783-9.

Stem cells of the oesophageal epithelium.

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  • 1Department of Medicine and Therapeutics, University College Dublin, St Vincent's University Hospital, Elm Park, Dublin 4, Ireland.


Cancers arising in the oesophageal epithelium are among the most common fatal tumors in the world. Despite this, comparatively little is known about the cell biology and organization of this tissue. Recently, in vitro and in vivo techniques developed over the past 30 years for the study of the epidermis have been applied to the study of the oesophageal epithelium. This approach, combined with data from previous histochemical studies, has lead to the identification and isolation of putative oesophageal epithelial stem cells. Oesophageal epithelial stem cells demonstrate several unusual properties, and their identification may facilitate studies on oesophageal carcinogenesis.

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