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Cell Biosci 2011 Sep 06;11:30. doi: 10.1186/2045-3701-1-30.
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The development of the adult intestinal stem cells: Insights from studies on thyroid hormone-dependent amphibian metamorphosis.

Adult organ-specific stem cells are essential for organ homeostasis and repair in adult vertebrates. The intestine is one of the best-studied organs in this regard. The intestinal epithelium undergoes constant self-renewal throughout adult life across vertebrates through the proliferation and subsequent differentiation of the adult stem cells. This self-renewal system is established late during development, around birth, in mammals when endogenous thyroid hormone (T3) levels are high. Amphibian metamorphosis resembles mammalian postembryonic development around birth and is totally dependent upon the presence of high levels of T3. During this process, the tadpole intestine, predominantly a monolayer of larval epithelial cells, undergoes drastic transformation. The larval epithelial cells undergo apoptosis and concurrently, adult epithelial stem/progenitor cells develop de novo, rapidly proliferate, and then differentiate to establish a trough-crest axis of the epithelial fold, resembling the crypt-villus axis in the adult mammalian intestine. We and others have studied the T3-dependent remodeling of the intestine in Xenopus laevis. Here we will highlight some of the recent findings on the origin of the adult intestinal stem cells. We will discuss observations suggesting that liganded T3 receptor (TR) regulates cell autonomous formation of adult intestinal progenitor cells and that T3 action in the connective tissue is important for the establishment of the stem cell niche. We will further review evidence suggesting similar T3-dependent formation of adult intestinal stem cells in other vertebrates.

PubMed ID: 21896185
PMC ID: PMC3177767
Article link: Cell Biosci

Species referenced: Xenopus laevis
Genes referenced: akt1 cdkn1a crebbp ep300 fabp2 h4c4 krt12.4 msi1 ncor1 ncor2 nsg1 prmt1 shh
Morpholinos: prmt1 MO2 prmt1 MO3

Article Images: [+] show captions
References [+] :
Amano, Metamorphosis-associated and region-specific expression of calbindin gene in the posterior intestinal epithelium of Xenopus laevis larva. 1998, Pubmed, Xenbase