Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations

Stomach cells naturally revert to stem cells

Date:
October 10, 2013
Source:
Washington University in St. Louis
Summary:
New research has shown that the stomach naturally produces more stem cells than previously realized, likely for repair of injuries from infections, digestive fluids and the foods we eat.

One or more chief cells, which normally make digestive juices in the stomach, have changed into a stem cell in the images above, filling its gland (outlined by dashed lines) with green-tinted descendants. Scientists learned that this change naturally occurs more often than they thought.
Credit: Greg Sibbel and Jason Mills

New research has shown that the stomach naturally produces more stem cells than previously realized, likely for repair of injuries from infections, digestive fluids and the foods we eat.

Related Articles


Stem cells can make multiple kinds of specialized cells, and scientists have been working for years to use that ability to repair injuries throughout the body. But causing specialized adult cells to revert to stem cells and work on repairs has been challenging.

Scientists from Washington University School of Medicine in St. Louis and Utrecht Medical Center in the Netherlands report in the new study that a class of specialized cells in the stomach reverts to stem cells more often than they thought.

“We already knew that these cells, which are called chief cells, can change back into stem cells to make temporary repairs in significant stomach injuries, such as a cut or damage from infection,” said Jason Mills, MD, PhD, associate professor of medicine at Washington University. “The fact that they’re making this transition more often, even in the absence of noticeable injuries, suggests that it may be easier than we realized to make some types of mature, specialized adult cells revert to stem cells.”

The findings are published Oct. 10 in Cell.

Chief cells normally produce digestive fluids for the stomach. Mills studies their transformation into stem cells for injury repair. He also is investigating the possibility that the potential for growth unleashed by this change may contribute to stomach cancers (http://news.wustl.edu/news/Pages/25196.aspx).

In the new report, Mills, graduate student Greg Sibbel and Hans Clevers, MD, PhD, a geneticist at Utrecht Medical Center, identify markers that show a small number of chief cells become stem cells even in the absence of serious injury.

If a significant injury is introduced in cell cultures or in animal models, more chief cells become stem cells, making it possible to fix the damage.

“Chief cells normally are big factories with elaborate networks of tubing and secretory mechanisms for making and secreting digestive juices,” said Mills, the associate director of Washington University’s Digestive Diseases Center. “That all has to be dismantled and recycled so the chief cell can become a stem cell. It’s a remarkable change.”

Mills’ other goals include learning if the chief cells’ transformations are triggered by signals sent by injured tissue, by damage sensors on the chief cells or by some combination of these methods.


Story Source:

The above story is based on materials provided by Washington University in St. Louis. Note: Materials may be edited for content and length.


Journal Reference:

  1. Stange DE, Koo BK, Huch M, Sibbel G, Basak O, Lyubimova A, Kujala P, Bartfeldt S, Koster J, Geahlen JH, Peters PJ, van Ese JH, van de Wetering M, Mills JC, Clevers H. Differentiated Troy chief cells act as 'reserve' stem cells to generate all lineages of the stomach epithelium. Cell, October 2013

Cite This Page:

Washington University in St. Louis. "Stomach cells naturally revert to stem cells." ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 10 October 2013. <www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2013/10/131010124349.htm>.
Washington University in St. Louis. (2013, October 10). Stomach cells naturally revert to stem cells. ScienceDaily. Retrieved March 31, 2015 from www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2013/10/131010124349.htm
Washington University in St. Louis. "Stomach cells naturally revert to stem cells." ScienceDaily. www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2013/10/131010124349.htm (accessed March 31, 2015).

Share This


More From ScienceDaily



More Health & Medicine News

Tuesday, March 31, 2015

Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations


Featured Videos

from AP, Reuters, AFP, and other news services

Solitair Device Aims to Takes Guesswork out of Sun Safety

Solitair Device Aims to Takes Guesswork out of Sun Safety

Reuters - Innovations Video Online (Mar. 31, 2015) — The Solitair device aims to take the confusion out of how much sunlight we should expose our skin to. Small enough to be worn as a tie or hair clip, it monitors the user&apos;s sun exposure by taking into account their skin pigment, location and schedule. Matthew Stock reports. Video provided by Reuters
Powered by NewsLook.com
Soda, Salt and Sugar: The Next Generation of Taxes

Soda, Salt and Sugar: The Next Generation of Taxes

Washington Post (Mar. 30, 2015) — Denisa Livingston, a health advocate for the Dinι Community Advocacy Alliance, and the Post&apos;s Abby Phillip discuss efforts around the country to make unhealthy food choices hurt your wallet as much as your waistline. Video provided by Washington Post
Powered by NewsLook.com
UnitedHealth Buys Catamaran

UnitedHealth Buys Catamaran

Reuters - Business Video Online (Mar. 30, 2015) — The $12.8 billion merger will combine the U.S.&apos; third and fourth largest pharmacy benefit managers. Analysts say smaller PBMs could also merge. Fred Katayama reports. Video provided by Reuters
Powered by NewsLook.com
S. Leone in New Anti-Ebola Lockdown

S. Leone in New Anti-Ebola Lockdown

AFP (Mar. 28, 2015) — Sierra Leone imposed a three-day nationwide lockdown Friday for the second time in six months in a bid to prevent a resurgence of the deadly Ebola virus. Duration: 01:17 Video provided by AFP
Powered by NewsLook.com

Search ScienceDaily

Number of stories in archives: 140,361

Find with keyword(s):
 
Enter a keyword or phrase to search ScienceDaily for related topics and research stories.

Save/Print:
Share:  

Breaking News:

Strange & Offbeat Stories

 

Health & Medicine

Mind & Brain

Living & Well

In Other News

... from NewsDaily.com

Science News

Health News

Environment News

Technology News



Save/Print:
Share:  

Free Subscriptions


Get the latest science news with ScienceDaily's free email newsletters, updated daily and weekly. Or view hourly updated newsfeeds in your RSS reader:

Get Social & Mobile


Keep up to date with the latest news from ScienceDaily via social networks and mobile apps:

Have Feedback?


Tell us what you think of ScienceDaily -- we welcome both positive and negative comments. Have any problems using the site? Questions?
Mobile iPhone Android Web
Follow Facebook Twitter Google+
Subscribe RSS Feeds Email Newsletters
Latest Headlines Health & Medicine Mind & Brain Space & Time Matter & Energy Computers & Math Plants & Animals Earth & Climate Fossils & Ruins