New publication in Nature Communications

Regenerative potential of the intestine: even fully differentiated cells can become stem cells again

The intestinal epithelium forms the barrier between the organism and the environment and is thus exposed to a multitude of damaging factors. Severe injury, e.g. through a bacterial infection or toxic substances can compromise epithelial function. While most patients recover quickly, the disease can become chronic or even fatal for some. It is therefore important to understand the mechanism normally responsible for repairing the damaged epithelium. A team of scientists from the Charité University Medicine and the Max Planck Institute for Infection Biology in Berlin now showed that the colon epithelium can recover even if all stem cells and dividing cells die as a result of colitis – by converting differentiated cells into stem cells.

Harnack C, Berger H, Antanaviciute A, Vidal R, Sauer S, Simmons A, Meyer TF and Sigal M. R-spondin 3 promotes stem cell recovery and epithelial regeneration in the colonNature Communications (2019)

Please find a detailed press report here.

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