Vital functions of the intestines: digestion, absorption, and surface barrier are performed by the intestinal epithelium, which consists of various differentiated cells and intestinal stem cells. Recent technological advances in sequencing technology, including single-cell transcriptomics and epigenetic analysis, have facilitated the genetic characterization of diverse intestinal epithelial cell types and surrounding mesenchymal niche environments. Organoids have allowed biological analysis of the human intestinal epithelium in coordination with genome engineering, genetic lineage tracing, and transplantation into orthotopic tissue. Together, these technologies have prompted the development of organoid-based regenerative therapies for intestinal diseases, including short-bowel syndrome. This article provides an overview of the current understanding of intestinal epithelial self-renewal during homeostasis and regeneration and provides a perspective for future organoid medicine.
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