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Cell Rep. 2018 Aug 28;24(9):2312-2328.e7. doi: 10.1016/j.celrep.2018.07.085.

Paneth Cells Respond to Inflammation and Contribute to Tissue Regeneration by Acquiring Stem-like Features through SCF/c-Kit Signaling.

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Department of Pathology, University Medical Center, Rotterdam, the Netherlands.
Cancer Computational Biology Center and Department of Urology, University Medical Center, Rotterdam, the Netherlands.
Erasmus Optical Imaging Center, Erasmus MC Cancer Institute, University Medical Center, Rotterdam, the Netherlands.
Hubrecht Institute, University Medical Center Utrecht and Princess Maxima Center, Utrecht, the Netherlands.
Department of Pathology, University Medical Center, Rotterdam, the Netherlands. Electronic address:


IBD syndromes such as Crohn's disease and ulcerative colitis result from the inflammation of specific intestinal segments. Although many studies have reported on the regenerative response of intestinal progenitor and stem cells to tissue injury, very little is known about the response of differentiated lineages to inflammatory cues. Here, we show that acute inflammation of the mouse small intestine is followed by a dramatic loss of Lgr5+ stem cells. Instead, Paneth cells re-enter the cell cycle, lose their secretory expression signature, and acquire stem-like properties, thus contributing to the tissue regenerative response to inflammation. Stem cell factor secretion upon inflammation triggers signaling through the c-Kit receptor and a cascade of downstream events culminating in GSK3β inhibition and Wnt activation in Paneth cells. Hence, the plasticity of the intestinal epithelium in response to inflammation goes well beyond stem and progenitor cells and extends to the fully differentiated and post-mitotic Paneth cells.


GSK3β; Lgr5(+) stem cells; PI3K/AKT; Paneth cells; SCF; Wnt; cKit; inflammatory bowel disease; regenerative response

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