Single Lgr5 stem cells build crypt-villus structures in vitro without a mesenchymal niche.

T. Sato, R.G.J. Vries, H.J.G. Snippert, M.L. van de Wetering, N. Barker, D.E. Stange, J.H. van Es, A. Abo, P. Kujala, P.J. Peters, H. Clevers

Research output: Contribution to journal/periodicalArticleScientificpeer-review

Abstract

The intestinal epithelium is the most rapidly self-renewing tissue in adult mammals. We have recently demonstrated the presence of about six cycling Lgr5(+) stem cells at the bottoms of small-intestinal crypts. Here we describe the establishment of long-term culture conditions under which single crypts undergo multiple crypt fission events, while simultanously generating villus-like epithelial domains in which all differentiated cell types are present. Single sorted Lgr5(+) stem cells can also initiate these cryptvillus organoids. Tracing experiments indicate that the Lgr5(+) stem-cell hierarchy is maintained in organoids. We conclude that intestinal cryptvillus units are self-organizing structures, which can be built from a single stem cell in the absence of a non-epithelial cellular niche.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)262-265
JournalNature
Volume459
Issue number7244
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 2009

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