Crypts (dark green) are stem-cell-containing glands that help to regenerate the intestinal lining.
Our intestinal inner lining is frequently renewing with a rate of every 2-4 weeks. And lining replacement depends on stem cells stored within crypts. When the lining is injured—for example, by infection or inflammation—
In a new study led by Dr. Thaddeus S. Stappenbeck at Washington University in St. Louis took a closer look at the rejuvenation of intestinal crypts in mice. They did a research on mice that has tiny wounds. Around 8 days later, they notedan array of channels containing rapidly dividing stem cells extended from the adjacent crypts into the wounded areas. They found cells adjacent to budding wound channels expressed high levels of Wnt genes, which are signaling proteins that assisting communication between cells. And those proteins have been linked to embryo development, tissue regeneration and cancer.Wnt signaling also control intestinal stem cells. The research also revealed there was a higher expression of Wnt5a, by certain cells in the wound bed. In further experiments, they found the Wnt5a protein slows the growth of stem cells within the wound channels, which in turn triggers the creation of new crypts. That means Wnt5ais crucial for crypt formation.
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