Musashi-1 is involved in maintenance of neural stem cells. In the rat stomach, we found some cells in the luminal compartment of the mucosa that stained positively for Musashi-1. These cells were distinct from other cells of epithelial lineage, except for parietal cells, and coexpressed HES5. The Musashi-1-positive cells exfoliated after damage, while Musashi-1 expression in neck cells were upregulated, and proliferating cells diminished before reappearing and increasing in number thereafter. We conclude that a subpopulation of parietal cells acts as a source of Musashi-1, which contributes to rapid re-epithelization by restoration of stem cells and regulation of cell differentiation.
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