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      An in vivo model of human small intestine using pluripotent stem cells

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          Abstract

          Differentiation of human pluripotent stem cells (hPSCs) into organ-specific subtypes offers an exciting avenue for the study of embryonic development and disease processes, for pharmacologic studies and as a potential resource for therapeutic transplant. To date, limited in vivo models exist for human intestine, all of which are dependent upon primary epithelial cultures or digested tissue from surgical biopsies that include mesenchymal cells transplanted on biodegradable scaffolds. Here, we generated human intestinal organoids (HIOs) produced in vitro from human embryonic stem cells (ESCs) or induced pluripotent stem cells (iPSCs) that can engraft in vivo. These HIOs form mature human intestinal epithelium with intestinal stem cells contributing to the crypt-villus architecture and a laminated human mesenchyme, both supported by mouse vasculature ingrowth. In vivo transplantation resulted in marked expansion and maturation of the epithelium and mesenchyme, as demonstrated by differentiated intestinal cell lineages (enterocytes, goblet cells, Paneth cells, tuft cells and enteroendocrine cells), presence of functional brush-border enzymes (lactase, sucrase-isomaltase and dipeptidyl peptidase 4) and visible subepithelial and smooth muscle layers when compared with HIOs in vitro. Transplanted intestinal tissues demonstrated digestive functions as shown by permeability and peptide uptake studies. Furthermore, transplanted HIO-derived tissue was responsive to systemic signals from the host mouse following ileocecal resection, suggesting a role for circulating factors in the intestinal adaptive response. This model of the human small intestine may pave the way for studies of intestinal physiology, disease and translational studies.

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          Most cited references 30

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          Pancreatic endoderm derived from human embryonic stem cells generates glucose-responsive insulin-secreting cells in vivo.

          Development of a cell therapy for diabetes would be greatly aided by a renewable supply of human beta-cells. Here we show that pancreatic endoderm derived from human embryonic stem (hES) cells efficiently generates glucose-responsive endocrine cells after implantation into mice. Upon glucose stimulation of the implanted mice, human insulin and C-peptide are detected in sera at levels similar to those of mice transplanted with approximately 3,000 human islets. Moreover, the insulin-expressing cells generated after engraftment exhibit many properties of functional beta-cells, including expression of critical beta-cell transcription factors, appropriate processing of proinsulin and the presence of mature endocrine secretory granules. Finally, in a test of therapeutic potential, we demonstrate that implantation of hES cell-derived pancreatic endoderm protects against streptozotocin-induced hyperglycemia. Together, these data provide definitive evidence that hES cells are competent to generate glucose-responsive, insulin-secreting cells.
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            Long-term expansion of epithelial organoids from human colon, adenoma, adenocarcinoma, and Barrett's epithelium.

            We previously established long-term culture conditions under which single crypts or stem cells derived from mouse small intestine expand over long periods. The expanding crypts undergo multiple crypt fission events, simultaneously generating villus-like epithelial domains that contain all differentiated types of cells. We have adapted the culture conditions to grow similar epithelial organoids from mouse colon and human small intestine and colon. Based on the mouse small intestinal culture system, we optimized the mouse and human colon culture systems. Addition of Wnt3A to the combination of growth factors applied to mouse colon crypts allowed them to expand indefinitely. Addition of nicotinamide, along with a small molecule inhibitor of Alk and an inhibitor of p38, were required for long-term culture of human small intestine and colon tissues. The culture system also allowed growth of mouse Apc-deficient adenomas, human colorectal cancer cells, and human metaplastic epithelia from regions of Barrett's esophagus. We developed a technology that can be used to study infected, inflammatory, or neoplastic tissues from the human gastrointestinal tract. These tools might have applications in regenerative biology through ex vivo expansion of the intestinal epithelia. Studies of these cultures indicate that there is no inherent restriction in the replicative potential of adult stem cells (or a Hayflick limit) ex vivo. Copyright © 2011 AGA Institute. Published by Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.
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              Functional engraftment of colon epithelium expanded in vitro from a single adult Lgr5⁺ stem cell.

              Adult stem-cell therapy holds promise for the treatment of gastrointestinal diseases. Here we describe methods for long-term expansion of colonic stem cells positive for leucine-rich repeat containing G protein-coupled receptor 5 (Lgr5(+) cells) in culture. To test the transplantability of these cells, we reintroduced cultured GFP(+) colon organoids into superficially damaged mouse colon. The transplanted donor cells readily integrated into the mouse colon, covering the area that lacked epithelium as a result of the introduced damage in recipient mice. At 4 weeks after transplantation, the donor-derived cells constituted a single-layered epithelium, which formed self-renewing crypts that were functionally and histologically normal. Moreover, we observed long-term (>6 months) engraftment with transplantation of organoids derived from a single Lgr5(+) colon stem cell after extensive in vitro expansion. These data show the feasibility of colon stem-cell therapy based on the in vitro expansion of a single adult colonic stem cell.
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                Author and article information

                Journal
                Nature Medicine
                Nat Med
                Springer Science and Business Media LLC
                1078-8956
                1546-170X
                November 2014
                October 19 2014
                November 2014
                : 20
                : 11
                : 1310-1314
                Article
                10.1038/nm.3737
                25326803
                © 2014

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