Growing self-organizing mini-guts from a single intestinal stem cell: Mechanism and applications

Toshiro Sato, Hans Clevers

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review

558 Citations (Scopus)

Abstract

Recent examples have highlighted how stem cells have the capability to initiate morphogenesis in vitro; that is, to generate complex structures in culture that closely parallel their in vivo counterparts. Lgr5, the receptor for the Wnt-agonistic R-spondins, marks stem cells in multiple adult organs of mice and humans. In R-spondin-based three-dimensional cultures, these Lgr5 stem cells can grow into ever-expanding epithelial organoids that retain their original organ identity. Single Lgr5 stem cells derived from the intestine can be cultured to build epithelial structures that retain hallmarks of the in vivo epithelium. Here, we review the mechanisms that support this notable example of self-organization and discuss applications of this technology for stem cell research, disease modeling (e.g., for colorectal cancer and cystic fibrosis), and regenerative medicine.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1190-1194
Number of pages5
JournalScience
Volume340
Issue number6137
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 2013

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • General

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