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Stem Cells January 1, 2011; 29 (1): 154-61.
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Epithelial-connective tissue interactions induced by thyroid hormone receptor are essential for adult stem cell development in the Xenopus laevis intestine.

In the amphibian intestine during metamorphosis, stem cells appear and generate the adult absorptive epithelium, analogous to the mammalian one, under the control of thyroid hormone (TH). We have previously shown that the adult stem cells originate from differentiated larval epithelial cells in the Xenopus laevis intestine. To clarify whether TH signaling in the epithelium alone is sufficient for inducing the stem cells, we have now performed tissue recombinant culture experiments using transgenic X. laevis tadpoles that express a dominant-positive TH receptor (dpTR) under a control of heat shock promoter. Wild-type (Wt) or dpTR transgenic (Tg) larval epithelium (Ep) was isolated from the tadpole intestine, recombined with homologous or heterologous nonepithelial tissues (non-Ep), and then cultivated in the absence of TH with daily heat shocks to induce transgenic dpTR expression. Adult epithelial progenitor cells expressing sonic hedgehog became detectable on day 5 in both the recombinant intestine of Tg Ep and Tg non-Ep (Tg/Tg) and that of Tg Ep and Wt non-Ep (Tg/Wt). However, in Tg/Wt intestine, they did not express other stem cell markers such as Musashi-1 and never generated the adult epithelium expressing a marker for absorptive epithelial cells. Our results indicate that, while it is unclear why some larval epithelial cells dedifferentiate into adult progenitor/stem cells, TR-mediated gene expression in the surrounding tissues other than the epithelium is required for them to develop into adult stem cells, suggesting the importance of TH-inducible epithelial-connective tissue interactions in establishment of the stem cell niche in the amphibian intestine.

PubMed ID: 21280164
PMC ID: PMC3414533
Article link: Stem Cells
Grant support: [+]

Species referenced: Xenopus laevis
Genes referenced: msi1 shh

References [+] :
Amano, Isolation of genes involved in intestinal remodeling during anuran metamorphosis. 1999, Pubmed, Xenbase