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J Theor Biol. 1987 Aug 21;127(4):381-91.

A comprehensive model of the crypts of the small intestine of the mouse provides insight into the mechanisms of cell migration and the proliferation hierarchy.

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Epithelial Biology, Paterson Institute, Christie Hospital & Holt Radium Institute, Manchester, England.


A comprehensive model has been formulated for the proliferative behaviour of the crypts of the small intestine based on individual cell to cell relationships rather than on the average effects of all cells. The model accommodates a wide range of cell kinetic data and provides an insight into the mechanisms involved in cell movement within the columnar sheet of cells and into the relationship between the stem cells and their progeny. The model permits the number of stem cells and transit generations to be estimated. The number of stem cells is predicted to be not less than 4 and not more than 16 per crypt with cell cycle times of between 12 and 32 h respectively. Certain conclusions can be drawn concerning the mechanisms involved in the initial cell displacements after cell division. The model also allows an estimation of parameters which cannot be measured directly such as the degree of cell generation disorder and the amount of dispersion of cells within a cell lineage.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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