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Cell Stem Cell. 2009 Jan 9;4(1):49-61. doi: 10.1016/j.stem.2008.10.016.

Tissue damage-induced intestinal stem cell division in Drosophila.

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Program in Molecular Medicine, University of Massachusetts Medical School, Worcester, MA 01605, USA.


Stem cell division is essential for tissue integrity during growth, aging, and pathogenic assaults. Adult gastrointestinal tract encounters numerous stimulations, and impaired tissue regeneration may lead to inflammatory diseases and cancer. Intestinal stem cells in adult Drosophila have recently been identified and shown to replenish the various cell types within the midgut. However, it is not known whether these intestinal stem cells can respond to environmental challenges. By feeding dextran sulfate sodium and bleomycin to flies and by expressing apoptotic proteins, we show that Drosophila intestinal stem cells can increase the rate of division in response to tissue damage. Moreover, if tissue damage results in epithelial cell loss, the newly formed enteroblasts can differentiate into mature epithelial cells. By using this newly established system of intestinal stem cell proliferation and tissue regeneration, we find that the insulin receptor signaling pathway is required for intestinal stem cell division.

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