Paper Chase is a research database designed to offer abstracts of research articles published in journals that have a highly rated impact factor as determined by ISI Impact Factor and PageRank. Abstracts are organized by date, with the most recently published papers listed first. 

Paper Chase

Intact function of Lgr5 receptor-expressing intestinal stem cells in the absence of Paneth cells.

Proc. Natl. Acad. Sci. U.S.A.. Mar 6, 2012;109(10):3932-7.
Kim TH, Escudero S, Shivdasani RA.

Department of Medical Oncology, Dana-Farber Cancer Institute, Boston, MA 02115, USA.

Abstract:

Lifelong self-renewal of the adult intestinal epithelium requires the activity of stem cells located in mucosal crypts. Lgr5 and Bmi1 are two molecular markers of crypt-cell populations that replenish all lineages over time and hence function as stem cells. Intestinal stem cells require Wnt signaling, but the understanding of their cellular niche is incomplete. Lgr5-expressing crypt base columnar cells (CBCs) reside deep in the crypt, mingled among mature Paneth cells that are well positioned for short-range signaling. Partial lineage ablation previously had implied that Paneth cells are nonessential constituents of the stem-cell niche, but recently their absence was reported to interfere with Lgr5(+) CBCs, resurrecting an appealing idea. However, previous mouse models failed to remove Paneth cells completely or permanently; defining the intestinal stem-cell niche requires clarity with respect to the Paneth cell role. We find that Lgr5(+) cells with stem-cell activity cluster in future crypts early in life, before Paneth cells develop. We also crossed conditional Atoh1(-/-) mice, which lack Paneth cells entirely, with Lgr5(GFP) mice to visualize Lgr5(+) CBCs and to track their stem-cell function. In the sustained absence of Paneth cells, Lgr5(+) CBCs occupied the full crypt base, proliferated briskly, and generated differentiated progeny over many months. Gene expression in fluorescence-sorted Lgr5(+) CBCs reflected intact Wnt signaling despite the loss of Paneth cells. Thus, Paneth cells are dispensable for survival, proliferation, and stem-cell activity of CBCs, and direct contact with Lgr5-nonexpressing cells is not essential for CBC function.