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Dev Growth Differ February 1, 2007; 49 (2): 99-107.

Regeneration of the amphibian intestinal epithelium under the control of stem cell niche.

The epithelium of the mammalian digestive tract originates from stem cells and undergoes rapid cell-renewal throughout adulthood. It has been proposed that the microenvironment around the stem cells, called ''niche'', plays an important role in epithelial cell-renewal through cell-cell and cell-extracellular matrix interactions. The amphibian intestine, which establishes epithelial cell-renewal during metamorphosis, serves as a unique and good model for studying molecular mechanisms of the stem cell niche. By using the organ culture of the Xenopus laevis intestine, we have previously shown that larval-to-adult epithelial remodeling can be organ-autonomously induced by thyroid hormone (TH) and needs interactions with the surrounding connective tissue. Thus, in this animal model, the functional analysis of TH response genes is useful for clarifying the epithelial-connective tissue interactions essential for intestinal remodeling at the molecular level. Recent progress in culture and transgenic technology now enables us to investigate functions of such TH response genes in the X. laevis intestine and sheds light on molecular aspects of the stem cell niche that are common to the mammalian intestine.

PubMed ID: 17335431
Article link: Dev Growth Differ

Species referenced: Xenopus
Genes referenced: bmp4 chrd.1 fabp2 mmp11 shh

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