Nice article on Wnt signalling
Intestinal homeostasis and stem cells are not affected when Paneth cells stop producing Wnt, but Wnt is required to maintain the stem cell niche in intestinal epithelial cultures, according to a mouse study in the December issue of Gastroenterology. These findings indicate that underlying mesenchymal cells provide a secondary physiological source of Wnt to intestinal stem cells.
Wnt signaling regulates many aspects of intestinal physiology, and also maintains stem cells. Paneth cells (which reside at the base of the crypt, interspersed with Lgr5+ stem cells) support the stem cells, producing important signaling factors. These include the Wnt ligands Wnt3, Wnt6, and Wnt9b; the Notch ligands Dll-1 and Dll-4; and EGF. However, it is not clear if Paneth cell production of all these factors is required to maintain the stem cell niche.
To examine the roles of Wnt production in the intestinal epithelia, Henner Farin et al. created mice…
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