Paneth cells in intestinal homeostasis and tissue injury.
ABSTRACT: Adult stem cell niches are often co-inhabited by cycling and quiescent stem cells. In the intestine, lineage tracing has identified Lgr5(+) cells as frequently cycling stem cells, whereas Bmi1(+), mTert(+), Hopx(+) and Lrig1(+) cells appear to be more quiescent. Here, we have applied a non-mutagenic and cell cycle independent approach to isolate and characterize small intestinal label-retaining cells (LRCs) persisting in the lower third of the crypt of Lieberkühn for up to 100 days. LRCs do not express markers of proliferation and of enterocyte, goblet or enteroendocrine differentiation, but are positive for Paneth cell markers. While during homeostasis, LR/Paneth cells appear to play a supportive role for Lgr5(+) stem cells as previously shown, upon tissue injury they switch to a proliferating state and in the process activate Bmi1 expression while silencing Paneth-specific genes. Hence, they are likely to contribute to the regenerative process following tissue insults such as chronic inflammation.
Project description:Intestinal homeostasis and regeneration after injury are controlled by 2 different types of cells: slow cycling, injury-resistant reserve intestinal stem cells (ISCs) and actively proliferative ISCs. Putative reserve ISCs have been identified using a variety of methods, including CreER insertions at Hopx or Bmi1 loci in mice and DNA label retention. Label-retaining cells (LRCs) include dormant stem cells in several tissues; in the intestine, LRCs appear to share some properties with reserve ISCs, which can be marked by reporter alleles. We investigated the relationships between these populations.Studies were performed in Lgr5-EGFP-IRESCreERT2, Bmi1-CreERT2, Hopx-CreERT2, and TRE-H2BGFP::Hopx-CreERT2::lox-stop-lox-tdTomato mice. Intestinal epithelial cell populations were purified; we compared reporter allele-marked reserve ISCs and several LRC populations (marked by H2B-GFP retention) using histologic flow cytometry and functional and single-cell gene expression assays.LRCs were dynamic and their cellular composition changed with time. Short-term LRCs had properties of secretory progenitor cells undergoing commitment to the Paneth or enteroendocrine lineages, while retaining some stem cell activity. Long-term LRCs lost stem cell activity and were a homogenous population of terminally differentiated Paneth cells. Reserve ISCs marked with HopxCreER were primarily quiescent (in G0), with inactive Wnt signaling and robust stem cell activity. In contrast, most LRCs were in G1 arrest and expressed genes that are regulated by the Wnt pathway or are in the secretory lineage.LRCs are molecularly and functionally distinct from reporter-marked reserve ISCs. This information provides an important basis for future studies of relationships among ISC populations.
Project description:The intestinal epithelium is maintained by a population of rapidly cycling (Lgr5(+)) intestinal stem cells (ISCs). It has been postulated, however, that slowly cycling ISCs must also be present in the intestine to protect the genome from accumulating deleterious mutations and to allow for a response to tissue injury. Here, we identify a subpopulation of slowly cycling ISCs marked by mouse telomerase reverse transcriptase (mTert) expression that can give rise to Lgr5(+) cells. mTert-expressing cells distribute in a pattern along the crypt-villus axis similar to long-term label-retaining cells (LRCs) and are resistant to tissue injury. Lineage-tracing studies demonstrate that mTert(+) cells give rise to all differentiated intestinal cell types, persist long term, and contribute to the regenerative response following injury. Consistent with other highly regenerative tissues, our results demonstrate that a slowly cycling stem cell population exists within the intestine.
Project description:Murine small intestinal crypt development is initiated during the first postnatal week. Soon after formation, overall increases in the number of crypts occurs through a bifurcating process called crypt fission, which is believed to be driven by developmental increases in the number of intestinal stem cells (ISCs). Recent evidence suggests that a heterogeneous population of ISCs exists within the adult intestine. Actively cycling ISCs are labeled by Lgr5, Ascl2 and Olfm4; whereas slowly cycling or quiescent ISC are marked by Bmi1 and mTert. The goal of this study was to correlate the expression of these markers with indirect measures of ISC expansion during development, including quantification of crypt fission and side population (SP) sorting. Significant changes were observed in the percent of crypt fission and SP cells consistent with ISC expansion between postnatal day 14 and 21. Quantitative real-time polymerase chain reaction (RT-PCR) for the various ISC marker mRNAs demonstrated divergent patterns of expression. mTert surged earliest, during the first week of life as crypts are initially being formed, whereas Lgr5 and Bmi1 peaked on day 14. Olfm4 and Ascl2 had variable expression patterns. To assess the number and location of Lgr5-expressing cells during this period, histologic sections from intestines of Lgr5-EGFP mice were subjected to quantitative analysis. There was attenuated Lgr5-EGFP expression at birth and through the first week of life. Once crypts were formed, the overall number and percent of Lgr5-EGFP positive cells per crypt remain stable throughout development and into adulthood. These data were supported by Lgr5 in situ hybridization in wild-type mice. We conclude that heterogeneous populations of ISCs are expanding as measured by SP sorting and mRNA expression at distinct developmental time points.
Project description:Reserve intestinal stem cells (rISCs) are quiescent/slowly cycling under homeostatic conditions, allowing for their identification with label-retention assays. rISCs mediate epithelial regeneration after tissue damage by converting to actively proliferating stem cells (aISCs) that self renew and demonstrate multipotency, which are defining properties of stem cells. Little is known about the genetic mechanisms that regulate the production and maintenance of rISCs. High expression levels of the transcription factor Sox9 (Sox9(high)) are associated with rISCs. This study investigates the role of SOX9 in regulating the rISC state.We used fluorescence-activated cell sorting to isolate cells defined as aISCs (Lgr5(high)) and rISCs (Sox9(high)) from Lgr5(EGFP) and Sox9(EGFP) reporter mice. Expression of additional markers associated with active and reserve ISCs were assessed in Lgr5(high) and Sox9(high) populations by single-cell gene expression analyses. We used label-retention assays to identify whether Sox9(high) cells were label-retatining cells (LRCs). Lineage-tracing experiments were performed in Sox9-CreERT2 mice to measure the stem cell capacities and radioresistance of Sox9-expressing cells. Conditional SOX9 knockout mice and inducible-conditional SOX9 knockout mice were used to determine whether SOX9 was required to maintain LRCs and rISC function.Lgr5(high) and a subset of crypt-based Sox9(high) cells co-express markers of aISC and rISC (Lgr5, Bmi1, Lrig1, and Hopx). LRCs express high levels of Sox9 and are lost in SOX9-knockout mice. SOX9 is required for epithelial regeneration after high-dose irradiation. Crypts from SOX9-knockout mice have increased sensitivity to radiation, compared with control mice, which could not be attributed to impaired cell-cycle arrest or DNA repair.SOX9 limits proliferation in LRCs and imparts radiation resistance to rISCs in mice.
Project description:Replicating Lgr5+ stem cells and quiescent Bmi1+ cells behave as intestinal stem cells (ISCs) in vivo. Disrupting Lgr5+ ISCs triggers epithelial renewal from Bmi1+ cells, from secretory or absorptive progenitors, and from Paneth cell precursors, revealing a high degree of plasticity within intestinal crypts. Here, we show that GFP+ cells from Bmi1GFP mice are preterminal enteroendocrine cells and we identify CD69+CD274+ cells as related goblet cell precursors. Upon loss of native Lgr5+ ISCs, both populations revert toward an Lgr5+ cell identity. While active histone marks are distributed similarly between Lgr5+ ISCs and progenitors of both major lineages, thousands of cis elements that control expression of lineage-restricted genes are selectively open in secretory cells. This accessibility signature dynamically converts to that of Lgr5+ ISCs during crypt regeneration. Beyond establishing the nature of Bmi1GFP+ cells, these findings reveal how chromatin status underlies intestinal cell diversity and dedifferentiation to restore ISC function and intestinal homeostasis.
Project description:Intestinal epithelial homeostasis is maintained by active-cycling and slow-cycling stem cells confined within an instructive crypt-based niche. Exquisite regulating of these stem cell populations along the proliferation-to-differentiation axis maintains a homeostatic balance to prevent hyperproliferation and cancer. Although recent studies focus on how secreted ligands from mesenchymal and epithelial populations regulate intestinal stem cells (ISCs), it remains unclear what role cell adhesion plays in shaping the regulatory niche. Previously we have shown that the cell adhesion molecule and cancer stem cell marker, CD166/ALCAM (activated leukocyte cell adhesion molecule), is highly expressed by both active-cycling Lgr5+ ISCs and adjacent Paneth cells within the crypt base, supporting the hypothesis that CD166 functions to mediate ISC maintenance and signal coordination.Here we tested this hypothesis by analyzing a CD166-/- mouse combined with immunohistochemical, flow cytometry, gene expression, and enteroid culture.We found that animals lacking CD166 expression harbored fewer active-cycling Lgr5+ ISCs. Homeostasis was maintained by expansion of the transit-amplifying compartment and not by slow-cycling Bmi1+ ISC stimulation. Loss of active-cycling ISCs was coupled with deregulated Paneth cell homeostasis, manifested as increased numbers of immature Paneth progenitors due to decreased terminal differentiation, linked to defective Wnt signaling. CD166-/- Paneth cells expressed reduced Wnt3 ligand expression and depleted nuclear ?-catenin.These data support a function for CD166 as an important cell adhesion molecule that shapes the signaling microenvironment by mediating ISC-niche cell interactions. Furthermore, loss of CD166 expression results in decreased ISC and Paneth cell homeostasis and an altered Wnt microenvironment.
Project description:Leucine-rich repeat-containing G protein-coupled receptor 5 (LGR5) and B-cell-specific Moloney murine leukemia virus insertion site 1 (BMI1) are markers of fast-cycling and quiescent intestinal stem cells, respectively. To determine the functions of these proteins in large animals, we investigated their effects on the proliferation of intestinal epithelial cells from pigs. Our results indicated that LGR5 and BMI1 are highly conserved proteins and that the pig proteins have greater homology with the human proteins than do mouse proteins. Overexpression of either LGR5 or BMI1 promoted cell proliferation and WNT/?-catenin signaling in pig intestinal epithelial cells (IPEC-J2). Moreover, the activation of WNT/?-catenin signaling by recombinant human WNT3A protein increased cell proliferation and LGR5 and BMI1 protein levels. Conversely, inhibition of WNT/?-catenin signaling using XAV939 reduced cell proliferation and LGR5 and BMI1 protein levels. This is the first report that LGR5 and BMI1 can increase proliferation of pig intestinal epithelial cells by activating WNT/?-catenin signaling.
Project description:The epithelial lining of the small intestine is continuously renewed from a small number of stem cells including Lgr5 expressing crypt base cells that have been shown to be a rapidly cycling stem cell population in homeostasis. Alternative markers of intestinal stem cells have variously identified populations as rapidly cycling or quiescent with proposed roles for the latter as a parallel or reserve stem cell population. However, the exact nature of quiescent crypt cells remains unknown. Here by applying novel mouse models that permit their isolation and characterisation as label-retaining cells (LRCs), and for the first time performing lineage tracing from them, we show quiescent cells to be committed secretory precursors that are capable of recall to the stem cell state. We reveal LRCs to be a small subset of the rapidly cycling Lgr5 expressing population committed along the Paneth-enteroendocrine lineage. Significantly, after injury and subsequent regeneration they are clonogenic, as shown by both lineage tracing and organoid growth demonstrating that they can be recalled to the stem cell pool. These findings in establishing quiescent cells as an effective clonogenic reserve during injury provides a motivation for investigating their role in the maintenance of cancer growth following adjuvant treatment. Six age and sex (female) matched Cyp1a1-H2B-YFP mice ten days post βNF induction were used comparing three cell populations from each. Following epithelial isolation, single cell preparation and staining with anti-CD24 anitbody and UEA-1 lectin, 30,000 cells were flow sorted for each population: Paneth cells (Paneth) were defined as CD24+/UEA+, YFP-LRCs (YFPpos) as CD24+/UEA-/YFP+ and LCCs (YFPneg) as CD24+/UEA-/YFP-. Microarray expression comparison was then performed to identify unique markers of each population. RNA amplification and hybridisation was performed at the Paterson Institute, Manchester, UK, Microarray Facility using Nugen Ovation Pico WTA System for amplification and then hybridisation to a Mouse Exon 1.0 ST Array. Arrays were scanned using an Affymetrix GeneChip scanner 3000 running GCOS software.
Project description:Lifelong self-renewal of the adult intestinal epithelium requires the activity of stem cells located in mucosal crypts. Lgr5 and Bmi1 are two molecular markers of crypt-cell populations that replenish all lineages over time and hence function as stem cells. Intestinal stem cells require Wnt signaling, but the understanding of their cellular niche is incomplete. Lgr5-expressing crypt base columnar cells (CBCs) reside deep in the crypt, mingled among mature Paneth cells that are well positioned for short-range signaling. Partial lineage ablation previously had implied that Paneth cells are nonessential constituents of the stem-cell niche, but recently their absence was reported to interfere with Lgr5(+) CBCs, resurrecting an appealing idea. However, previous mouse models failed to remove Paneth cells completely or permanently; defining the intestinal stem-cell niche requires clarity with respect to the Paneth cell role. We find that Lgr5(+) cells with stem-cell activity cluster in future crypts early in life, before Paneth cells develop. We also crossed conditional Atoh1(-/-) mice, which lack Paneth cells entirely, with Lgr5(GFP) mice to visualize Lgr5(+) CBCs and to track their stem-cell function. In the sustained absence of Paneth cells, Lgr5(+) CBCs occupied the full crypt base, proliferated briskly, and generated differentiated progeny over many months. Gene expression in fluorescence-sorted Lgr5(+) CBCs reflected intact Wnt signaling despite the loss of Paneth cells. Thus, Paneth cells are dispensable for survival, proliferation, and stem-cell activity of CBCs, and direct contact with Lgr5-nonexpressing cells is not essential for CBC function.
Project description:Since aberrant wound healing and chronic inflammation can promote malignant transformation, we determined whether dietary bioactive fish oil (FO)-derived n-3 polyunsaturated fatty acids (n-3 PUFA) modulate stem cell kinetics in a colitis-wounding model. Lgr5-LacZ and Lgr5-EGFP-IRES-creER(T2) mice were fed diets enriched with n-3 PUFA vs n-6 PUFA (control) and exposed to dextran sodium sulfate (DSS) for 5days in order to induce crypt damage and colitis throughout the colon. Stem cell number, cell proliferation, apoptosis, expression of stem cell (Lgr5, Sox9, Bmi1, Hopx, mTert, Ascl2, and DCAMKL-1) and inflammation (STAT3) markers were quantified. DSS treatment resulted in the ablation of Lgr5(+) stem cells in the distal colon, concurrent with the loss of distal crypt structure and proliferating cells. Lgr5, Ascl2 and Hopx mRNA expression levels were decreased in damaged colonic mucosa. Lgr5(+) stem cells reappeared at day 5 of DSS recovery, with normal levels attained by day 6 of recovery. There was no effect of diet on the recovery of stem cells. FO fed animals exhibited higher levels of phospho-STAT3 at all time points, consistent with a higher wounding by DSS in FO feeding. n-3 PUFA-fed mice exhibited a reduction in stem cell associated factors, Ascl2, Axin2 and EphB3. These results indicate that rapidly cycling Lgr5(+) stem cells residing at position 1 in the colon epithelium are highly susceptible to DSS-induced damage and that dietary cues can impact stem cell regulatory networks.