Retinol Promotes In Vitro Growth of Proximal Colon Organoids through a Retinoic Acid-Independent Mechanism.
ABSTRACT: Retinol (ROL), the alcohol form of vitamin A, is known to control cell fate decision of various types of stem cells in the form of its active metabolite, retinoic acid (RA). However, little is known about whether ROL has regulatory effects on colonic stem cells. We examined in this study the effect of ROL on the growth of murine normal colonic cells cultured as organoids. As genes involved in RA synthesis from ROL were differentially expressed along the length of the colon, we tested the effect of ROL on proximal and distal colon organoids separately. We found that organoid forming efficiency and the expression level of Lgr5, a marker gene for colonic stem cells were significantly enhanced by ROL in the proximal colon organoids, but not in the distal ones. Interestingly, neither retinaldehyde (RAL), an intermediate product of the ROL-RA pathway, nor RA exhibited growth promoting effects on the proximal colon organoids, suggesting that ROL-dependent growth enhancement in organoids involves an RA-independent mechanism. This was confirmed by the observation that an inhibitor for RA-mediated gene transcription did not abrogate the effect of ROL on organoids. This novel role of ROL in stem cell maintenance in the proximal colon provides insights into the mechanism of region-specific regulation for colonic stem cell maintenance.
Project description:Gastric and small intestinal organoids differentiated from human pluripotent stem cells (hPSCs) have revolutionized the study of gastrointestinal development and disease. Distal gut tissues such as cecum and colon, however, have proved considerably more challenging to derive in vitro. Here we report the differentiation of human colonic organoids (HCOs) from hPSCs. We found that BMP signaling is required to establish a posterior SATB2+ domain in developing and postnatal intestinal epithelium. Brief activation of BMP signaling is sufficient to activate a posterior HOX code and direct hPSC-derived gut tube cultures into HCOs. In vitro, HCOs express colonic markers and contained colon-specific cell populations. Following transplantation into mice, HCOs undergo morphogenesis and maturation to form tissue that exhibits molecular, cellular, and morphologic properties of human colon. Together these data show BMP-dependent patterning of human hindgut into HCOs, which will be valuable for studying diseases including colitis and colon cancer.
Project description:BACKGROUND: In addition to its absorptive function the capacity of the colon to retain fluid might be relevant in compensating for increased fluid loads and prevention of diarrhoea. The distal colon is considered to be mainly a conduit without extensive storage function. AIMS: To evaluate colonic volume capacity in a model of pure osmotic diarrhoea. METHODS: A non-absorbable, iso-osmotic solution (OS) containing polyethylene glycol (500 ml) was infused into the caecum of nine healthy volunteers; the control group (n = 5) received an equal amount of an easily absorbable electrolyte solution (ES). Fluids were radiolabelled with technetium-99m and gamma camera images were obtained for 48 hours. Counts in the proximal and distal colon were measured and regional and overall colonic transit and stool output were quantified. RESULTS: After OS, in contrast to ES, faecal output was increased significantly (p < 0.05), but colonic transit after OS was not different from transit after ES (p > 0.05). This indicates storage of OS in the colon: after OS infusion, counts in the proximal colon decreased linearly while the distal colon stored approximately 30% of radioactivity for the whole 48 hour study period. After OS, stool output correlated with distal (p < 0.01), but not with proximal (p > 0.05), colonic transit. In contrast, after ES, stool output was determined by proximal colonic transit (p < 0.05) but not by transit through the distal colon (p > 0.05). CONCLUSION: The distal colon retains non-absorbable fluid volumes extensively. In our model transit through the distal colon--but not the proximal colon--determined the time at which diarrhoea occurred.
Project description:The colonic mucus barrier is commonly described as a continuous double layer covering the epithelium, separating the microbiota from the intestinal tissue. This model is currently considered valid throughout the colon. The colon is characterised by regional anatomo-functional specificities such as presence and consistency of contents and location. In this study, we characterised the organisation of the colonic mucus barrier in proximal and distal colon of rodents by histological and FISH staining, taking into account aforementioned specificities. By using longitudinal sections and imaging extensive areas of tissue with and without colonic contents, we have obtained a spatiotemporal overview of mucus organisation in the colon. We describe for the first time that the colonic mucus layer covers the faeces instead of the epithelium in the distal colon. This faecal mucus layer confines the microbiota to the faeces and prevents it from remaining in empty distal colon. In the proximal colon, the mucus did not form a separating layer between bacteria and epithelium. We conclude that the organisation of colonic mucus is reliant on the presence of the colonic content, and the location within the colon. Our findings reopen the discussion on the nature of the colonic mucus barrier.
Project description:Many colonic mucosal genes that are highly regulated by microbial signals are differentially expressed along the rostral-caudal axis. This would suggest that differences in regional microbiota exist, particularly mucosa-associated microbes that are less likely to be transient. We therefore explored this possibility by examining the bacterial populations associated with the normal proximal and distal colonic mucosa in context of host Toll-like receptors (TLR) expression in C57BL/6J mice housed in specific pathogen-free (SPF) and germ-free (GF) environments. 16S rRNA gene-based terminal restriction fragment length polymorphism (T-RFLP) and clone library analysis revealed significant differences in the community structure and diversity of the mucosa-associated microbiota located in the distal colon compared to proximal colon and stool, the latter two clustering closely. Differential expression of colonic TLR2 and TLR4 along the proximal-distal axis was also found in SPF mice, but not in GF mice, suggesting that enteric microbes are essential in maintaining the regional expression of these TLRs. TLR2 is more highly expressed in proximal colon and decreases in a gradient to distal while TLR4 expression is highest in distal colon and a gradient of decreased expression to proximal colon is observed. After transfaunation in GF mice, both regional colonization of mucosa-associated microbes and expression of TLRs in the mouse colon were reestablished. In addition, exposure of the distal colon to cecal (proximal) microbiota induced TLR2 expression. These results demonstrate that regional colonic mucosa-associated microbiota determine the region-specific expression of TLR2 and TLR4. Conversely, region-specific host assembly rules are essential in determining the structure and function of mucosa-associated microbial populations. We believe this type of host-microbial mutualism is pivotal to the maintenance of intestinal and immune homeostasis.
Project description:We previously demonstrated that 4-oxoretinol (4-oxo-ROL) activated retinoic acid receptors (RARs) in F9 stem cells. We showed that 4-oxo-ROL inhibited the proliferation of normal human mammary epithelial cells (HMECs). To understand the mechanisms by which 4-oxo-ROL regulates HMEC growth we examined gene expression profiles following 4-oxo-ROL or all-trans retinoic acid (tRA). We also compared growth inhibition by tRA, 4-oxo-ROL, or 4-oxo-RA. All three retinoids inhibited HMEC proliferation. Gene expression analyses indicated that 4-oxo-ROL and tRA modulated gene expression in closely related pathways. The expression of many genes, e.g. ATP-binding cassette G1 (ABCG1); adrenergic receptorbeta2 (ADRB2); ras-related C3 botulinum toxin substrate (RAC2); and short-chain dehydrogenase/reductase 1 gene (SDR1) was changed after 4-oxo-ROL or tRA. Metabolism of these retinoids was analyzed by high-performance liquid chromatography (HPLC). In 1 microM tRA treated HMECs all of the tRA was found intracellularly, and tRA was the predominant intracellular retinoid. In 1 microM 4-oxo-ROL treated HMECs most 4-oxo-ROL was esterified to 4-oxoretinyl esters, no tRA was detected, and 4-oxo-ROL and 4-oxo-RA were observed intracellularly. In 1 microM 4-oxoretinoic acid (4-oxo-RA) treated HMECs little intracellular 4-oxo-RA was detected; most 4-oxo-RA was in the medium. Our results indicate that: (a) 4-oxo-ROL regulates gene expression and inhibits proliferation of HMECs; (b) 4-oxo-ROL and tRA regulate some of the same genes; (c) more tRA is found in cells, as compared to 4-oxoretinoic acid, when each drug is added at the same concentration in the medium; and (d) the mechanism by which 4-oxo-ROL exerts its biological activity does not involve intracellular tRA production.
Project description:BACKGROUND & AIMS:Paneth cells contribute to the small intestinal niche of Lgr5(+) stem cells. Although the colon also contains Lgr5(+) stem cells, it does not contain Paneth cells. We investigated the existence of colonic Paneth-like cells that have a distinct transcriptional signature and support Lgr5(+) stem cells. METHODS:We used multicolor fluorescence-activated cell sorting to isolate different subregions of colon crypts, based on known markers, from dissociated colonic epithelium of mice. We performed multiplexed single-cell gene expression analysis with quantitative reverse transcriptase polymerase chain reaction followed by hierarchical clustering analysis to characterize distinct cell types. We used immunostaining and fluorescence-activated cell sorting analyses with in vivo administration of a Notch inhibitor and in vitro organoid cultures to characterize different cell types. RESULTS:Multicolor fluorescence-activated cell sorting could isolate distinct regions of colonic crypts. Four major epithelial subtypes or transcriptional states were revealed by gene expression analysis of selected populations of single cells. One of these, the goblet cells, contained a distinct cKit/CD117(+) crypt base subpopulation that expressed Dll1, Dll4, and epidermal growth factor, similar to Paneth cells, which were also marked by cKit. In the colon, cKit(+) goblet cells were interdigitated with Lgr5(+) stem cells. In vivo, this colonic cKit(+) population was regulated by Notch signaling; administration of a ?-secretase inhibitor to mice increased the number of cKit(+) cells. When isolated from mouse colon, cKit(+) cells promoted formation of organoids from Lgr5(+) stem cells, which expressed Kitl/stem cell factor, the ligand for cKit. When organoids were depleted of cKit(+) cells using a toxin-conjugated antibody, organoid formation decreased. CONCLUSIONS:cKit marks small intestinal Paneth cells and a subset of colonic goblet cells that are regulated by Notch signaling and support Lgr5(+) stem cells.
Project description:Na-HCO3 cotransport (NBC) regulates intracellular pH (pHi) and HCO3 secretion in rat colon. NBC has been characterized as a 5,5'-diisothiocyanato-2-2'-stilbene (DIDS)-sensitive transporter in several tissues, while the colonic NBC is sensitive to both amiloride and DIDS. In addition, the colonic NBC has been identified as critical for pHi regulation as it is activated by intravesicular acid pH. Molecular studies have identified several characteristically distinct NBC isoforms [i.e. electrogenic (NBCe) and electroneutral (NBCn)] that exhibit tissue specific expression. This study was initiated to establish the molecular identity and specific function of NBC isoforms in rat colon. Northern blot and reverse transcriptase PCR (RT-PCR) analyses revealed that electrogenic NBCe1B or NBCe1C (NBCe1B/C) isoform is predominantly expressed in proximal colon, while electroneutral NBCn1C or NBCn1D (NBCn1C/D) is expressed in both proximal and distal colon. Functional analyses revealed that amiloride-insensitive, electrogenic, pH gradient-dependent NBC activity is present only in basolateral membranes of proximal colon. In contrast, amiloride-sensitive, electroneutral, [H(+)]-dependent NBC activity is present in both proximal and distal colon. Both electrogenic and electroneutral NBC activities are saturable processes with an apparent Km for Na of 7.3 and 4.3 mM, respectively; and are DIDS-sensitive with apparent Ki of 8.9 and 263.8 µM, respectively. In addition to Na-H exchanger isoform-1 (NHE1), pHi acidification is regulated by a HCO3-dependent mechanism that is HOE694-insensitive in colonic crypt glands. We conclude from these data that electroneutral, amiloride-sensitive NBC is encoded by NBCn1C/D and is present in both proximal and distal colon, while NBCe1B/C encodes electrogenic, amiloride-insensitive Na-HCO3 cotransport in proximal colon. We also conclude that NBCn1C/D regulates HCO3-dependent HOE694-insensitive Na-HCO3 cotransport and plays a critical role in pHi regulation in colonic epithelial cells.
Project description:<h4>Background & aims</h4>Most knowledge about gastrointestinal (GI)-tract dendritic cells (DC) relies on murine studies where CD103<sup>+</sup> DC specialize in generating immune tolerance with the functionality of CD11b<sup>+/-</sup> subsets being unclear. Information about human GI-DC is scarce, especially regarding regional specifications. Here, we characterized human DC properties throughout the human colon.<h4>Methods</h4>Paired proximal (right/ascending) and distal (left/descending) human colonic biopsies from 95 healthy subjects were taken; DC were assessed by flow cytometry and microbiota composition assessed by 16S rRNA gene sequencing.<h4>Results</h4>Colonic DC identified were myeloid (mDC, CD11c<sup>+</sup>CD123<sup>-</sup>) and further divided based on CD103 and SIRPα (human analog of murine CD11b) expression. CD103<sup>-</sup>SIRPα<sup>+</sup> DC were the major population and with CD103<sup>+</sup>SIRPα<sup>+</sup> DC were CD1c<sup>+</sup>ILT3<sup>+</sup>CCR2<sup>+</sup> (although CCR2 was not expressed on all CD103<sup>+</sup>SIRPα<sup>+</sup> DC). CD103<sup>+</sup>SIRPα<sup>-</sup> DC constituted a minor subset that were CD141<sup>+</sup>ILT3<sup>-</sup>CCR2<sup>-</sup>. Proximal colon samples had higher total DC counts and fewer CD103<sup>+</sup>SIRPα<sup>+</sup> cells. Proximal colon DC were more mature than distal DC with higher stimulatory capacity for CD4<sup>+</sup>CD45RA<sup>+</sup> T-cells. However, DC and DC-invoked T-cell expression of mucosal homing markers (β7, CCR9) was lower for proximal DC. CCR2 was expressed on circulating CD1c<sup>+</sup>, but not CD141<sup>+</sup> mDC, and mediated DC recruitment by colonic culture supernatants in transwell assays. Proximal colon DC produced higher levels of cytokines. Mucosal microbiota profiling showed a lower microbiota load in the proximal colon, but with no differences in microbiota composition between compartments.<h4>Conclusions</h4>Proximal colonic DC subsets differ from those in distal colon and are more mature. Targeted immunotherapy using DC in T-cell mediated GI tract inflammation may therefore need to reflect this immune compartmentalization.
Project description:<h4>Background</h4>Physiological circadian rhythms (CRs) are complex processes with 24-hour oscillations that regulate diverse biological functions. Chronic weekly light/dark (LD) shifting (CR disruption; CRD) in mice results in colonic hyperpermeability. However, the mechanisms behind this phenomenon are incompletely understood. One potential innovative in vitro method to study colonic CRs are colon organoids. The goals of this study were to utilize circadian clock gene Per2 luciferase reporter (Per2::Luc) mice to measure the effects of chronic LD shifting on colonic tissue circadian rhythmicity ex vivo and to determine if organoids made from shifted mice colons recapitulate the in vivo phenotype.<h4>Methods</h4>Non-shifted (NS) and shifted (S) BL6 Per2::Luc mice were compared after a 22-week experiment. NS mice had a standard 12h light/12h dark LD cycle throughout. S mice alternated 12h LD patterns weekly, with light from 6am-6pm one week followed by shifting light to 6pm-6am the next week for 22 weeks. Mice were tested for intestinal permeability while colon tissue and organoids were examined for CRs of bioluminescence and proteins of barrier function and cell fate.<h4>Results</h4>There was no absolute difference in NS vs. S 24h circadian period or phase. However, chronic LD shifting caused Per2::Luc S mice colon tissue to exhibit significantly greater variability in both the period and phase of Per2::Luc rhythms than NS mice colon tissue and organoids. Chronic LD shifting also resulted in increased colonic permeability of the Per2::Luc mice as well as decreased protein markers of intestinal permeability in colonic tissue and organoids from shifted Per2:Luc mice.<h4>Conclusions</h4>Our studies support a model in which chronic central circadian disruption by LD shifting alters the circadian phenotype of the colon tissue and results in colon leakiness and loss of colonic barrier function. These CRD-related changes are stably expressed in colon stem cell derived organoids from CRD mice.
Project description:Since disease susceptibility of the intestine exhibits an anatomical bias, we propose that the chromatin landscape, especially the site-specific epigenetic differences in histone modification patterns throughout the colonic longitudinal axis, contributes to the differential incidence of site-specific pathology. To test this hypothesis, we assessed the chromatin structure associated with gene expression profiles in the rat proximal and distal colon by globally correlating chromatin immunoprecipitation next-generation sequencing analysis (ChIP-Seq) with mRNA transcription (RNA-Seq) data. Crypts were isolated from the proximal and distal colonic regions from rats maintained on a semipurified diet, and mRNA gene expression profiles were generated by RNA-Seq. The remaining isolated crypts were formaldehyde-cross-linked and chromatin immunoprecipitated with antibodies against H3K4me3, H3K9me3, and RNA polymerase II. Globally, RNA-Seq results indicate that 9,866 genes were actively expressed, of which 540 genes were differentially expressed between the proximal and distal colon. Gene ontology analysis indicates that crypt location significantly affected both chromatin and transcriptional regulation of genes involved in enterocyte movement, lipid metabolism, lymphatic development, and immune cell trafficking. Gene function analysis indicates that the PI3-kinase signaling pathway was regulated in a site-specific manner, e.g., proto-oncogenes, JUN, FOS, and ATF, were upregulated in the distal colon. Middle and long noncoding RNAs (lncRNAs) were also detected in the colon, including select lncRNAs formerly only detected in the rat nervous system. In summary, distinct combinatorial patterns of histone modifications exist in the proximal versus distal colon. These site-specific differences may explain the differential effects of chemoprotective agents on cell transformation in the ascending (proximal) and descending (distal) colon.