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Sci Rep. 2018 Oct 15;8(1):15255. doi: 10.1038/s41598-018-33578-6.

Lrig1 marks a population of gastric epithelial cells capable of long-term tissue maintenance and growth in vitro.

Author information

1
BRIC - Biotech Research & Innovation Centre, University of Copenhagen, DK-2200, Copenhagen N, Denmark.
2
Wellcome Trust - Medical Research Council Cambridge Stem Cell Institute, Tennis Court Road, Cambridge, CB2 1QR, UK.
3
Cancer Research UK Cambridge Institute, CB2 0RE, Cambridge, UK.
4
Department of Physiology, Semmelweis University, Tűzoltó street 37-47 1094, Budapest, Hungary.
5
Centre for Stem Cells and Regenerative Medicine, King's College London, 28th floor, Tower Wing Guy's Campus, London, SE1 9RT, UK.
6
BRIC - Biotech Research & Innovation Centre, University of Copenhagen, DK-2200, Copenhagen N, Denmark. kim.jensen@bric.ku.dk.
7
Novo Nordisk Foundation Center for Stem Cell Biology, Faculty of Health and Medical Sciences, University of Copenhagen, DK-2200, Copenhagen N, Denmark. kim.jensen@bric.ku.dk.

Abstract

The processes involved in renewal of the epithelium that lines the mouse stomach remain unclear. Apart from the cells in the isthmus, several other populations located deeper in the gastric glands have been suggested to contribute to the maintenance of the gastric epithelium. Here, we reveal that Lrig1 is expressed in the basal layer of the forestomach and the lower part of glands in the corpus and pylorus. In the glandular epithelium of the stomach, Lrig1 marks a heterogeneous population comprising mainly non-proliferative cells. Yet, fate-mapping experiments using a knock-in mouse line expressing Cre specifically in Lrig1+ cells demonstrate that these cells are able to contribute to the long-term maintenance of the gastric epithelium. Moreover, when cultured in vitro, cells expressing high level of Lrig1 have much higher organoid forming potential than the corresponding cellular populations expressing lower levels of Lrig1. Taken together, these observations show that Lrig1 is expressed primarily by differentiated cells, but that these cells can be recruited to contribute to the maintenance of the gastric epithelium. This confirms previous observations that cells located in the lower segments of gastric glands can participate in tissue replenishment.

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