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Am J Physiol Gastrointest Liver Physiol. 2019 Dec 1;317(6):G845-G852. doi: 10.1152/ajpgi.00346.2018. Epub 2019 Oct 7.

Use of organoids to study regenerative responses to intestinal damage.

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Department of Molecular Virology and Microbiology, Baylor College of Medicine, Houston, Texas.
Department of Orofacial Sciences and Program in Craniofacial Biology, University of California, San Francisco, California.
Department of Pediatrics and Institute for Human Genetics, University of California, San Francisco, California.
Department of Physiology, Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine, Baltimore, Maryland.
Department of Medicine, Gastroenterology and Hepatology Division, Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine, Baltimore, Maryland.
Department of Medicine, Divisions of Gastroenterology and Hepatology and Infectious Diseases, Baylor College of Medicine, Houston, Texas.
Department of Radiation Oncology, Albert Einstein, Bronx, New York.


Intestinal organoid cultures provide an in vitro model system for studying pathways and mechanisms involved in epithelial damage and repair. Derived from either embryonic or induced pluripotent stem cells or adult intestinal stem cells or tissues, these self-organizing, multicellular structures contain polarized mature cells that recapitulate both the physiology and heterogeneity of the intestinal epithelium. These cultures provide a cutting-edge technology for defining regenerative pathways that are induced following radiation or chemical damage, which directly target the cycling intestinal stem cell, or damage resulting from viral, bacterial, or parasitic infection of the epithelium. Novel signaling pathways or biological mechanisms identified from organoid studies that mediate regeneration of the epithelium following damage are likely to be important targets of preventive or therapeutic modalities to mitigate intestinal injury. The evolution of these cultures to include more components of the intestinal wall and the ability to genetically modify them are key components for defining the mechanisms that modulate epithelial regeneration.


enteroids; intestinal stem cell; organoids; regeneration


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