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Hoffmann, R. A wiki for the life sciences where authorship matters. Nature Genetics (2008)

Isolation and characterization of a putative intestinal stem cell fraction from mouse jejunum.

BACKGROUND & AIMS: Although there have been many recent advances regarding the biology of intestinal stem cells, the field has been hampered significantly by the lack of a method to isolate these cells. Therefore, the aim of this study was to explore the hypothesis that viable intestinal stem cells can be isolated as a side population (SP) by fluorescence-activated cell sorting after staining with the DNA-binding dye Hoechst 33342. METHODS: Preparations of individual cells from either whole mucosa or epithelium of mouse jejunum were stained with Hoechst 33342 and propidium iodide and then sorted using fluorescence-activated cell sorting. Cells were characterized using fluorochrome-labeled antibodies to surface markers, intracellular markers, and annexin V to detect early apoptosis. Total RNA was isolated from sorted fractions and used for quantitative real-time reverse-transcription polymerase chain reaction to evaluate the expression of cell lineage markers and the intestinal stem-cell marker, Musashi-1. RESULTS: Adult and neonatal jejunum contain a viable population of cells that shows the SP phenotype and is sensitive to verapamil. This population of cells (from both mucosal and epithelial preparations) includes a CD45-negative fraction corresponding to nonhematopoietic cells, which shows minimal expression of surface markers typically found on stem cells from other tissues and of intracellular markers found in mesenchymal cells. Additionally, these cells were enriched for Musashi-1 and beta1-integrin, were cytokeratin positive, and survived in culture for up to 14 days. CONCLUSIONS: The CD45-negative SP fraction, although not pure, represents the successful isolation of a viable population significantly enriched in small intestinal epithelial stem cells.[1]


  1. Isolation and characterization of a putative intestinal stem cell fraction from mouse jejunum. Dekaney, C.M., Rodriguez, J.M., Graul, M.C., Henning, S.J. Gastroenterology (2005) [Pubmed]
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