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Regen Med. 2011 Nov;6(6):743-55. doi: 10.2217/rme.11.90.

Generating intestinal tissue from stem cells: potential for research and therapy.

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Division of Endocrinology, Cincinnati Children's Hospital Medical Center, Cincinnati, OH 45229-3039, USA.


Intestinal resection and malformations in adult and pediatric patients result in devastating consequences. Unfortunately, allogeneic transplantation of intestinal tissue into patients has not been met with the same measure of success as the transplantation of other organs. Attempts to engineer intestinal tissue in vitro include disaggregation of adult rat intestine into subunits called organoids, harvesting native adult stem cells from mouse intestine and spontaneous generation of intestinal tissue from embryoid bodies. Recently, by utilizing principles gained from the study of developmental biology, human pluripotent stem cells have been demonstrated to be capable of directed differentiation into intestinal tissue in vitro. Pluripotent stem cells offer a unique and promising means to generate intestinal tissue for the purposes of modeling intestinal disease, understanding embryonic development and providing a source of material for therapeutic transplantation.

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