Intrinsic Notch signaling in intestinal epithelial cells restricts secretory cell differentiation. In gut-associated lymphoid tissue (GALT), stromal cells located beneath the follicle-associated epithelium (FAE) abundantly express the Notch ligand delta-like 1 (Dll1). Here, we show that mice lacking Rbpj - a gene encoding a transcription factor implicated in Notch signaling - in intestinal epithelial cells have defective GALT maturation. This defect can be attributed to the expansion of goblet cells, which leads to the down-regulation of CCL20 in FAE. These data demonstrate that epithelial Notch signaling maintained by stromal cells contributes to the full maturation of GALT by restricting secretory cell differentiation in FAE.
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