Navigation Links
Intestinal stem cells respond to food by supersizing the gut
Date:10/27/2011

A new study from University of California, Berkeley, researchers demonstrates that adult stem cells can reshape our organs in response to changes in the body and the environment, a finding that could have implications for diabetes and obesity.

Current thinking has been that, once embryonic stem cells mature into adult stem cells, they sit quietly in our tissues, replacing cells that die or are injured but doing little else.

But in working with fruit flies, the researchers found that intestinal stem cells responded to increased food intake by producing more intestinal cells, expanding the size of the intestines as long as the food keeps flowing.

"When flies start to eat, the intestinal stem cells go into overdrive, and the gut expands," said UC Berkeley post-doctoral fellow Lucy O'Brien. "Four days later, the gut is four times bigger than before, but when food is taken away, the gut slims down."

Just as in humans and other mammals, O'Brien added, the fly intestine secretes its own insulin. In flies, intestinal insulin seems to be the signal that makes stem cells "supersize the gut."

"Because of the many similarities between the fruit fly and the human, the discovery may hold a key to understanding how human organs adapt to environmental change," said David Bilder, UC-Berkeley associate professor of molecular and cell biology.

The research will be published in the Oct. 28 issue of the journal Cell.

Stem cells key to adaptability

Many tissues grow or shrink with usage, including muscle, liver and intestine. Human intestines, for example, regrow after portions have been surgically removed because of cancer or injury, and hibernating animals see their intestines shrink to one-third their normal size during winter.

"One strategy animals use to deal with environmental variability is to tune the workings of their organ systems to match the conditions at hand," O'Brien said. "How exactly this 'organ adaptation' happens, particularly in adult animals that are no longer growing, has long been a mystery."

Following the surprising discovery of stem cells in the intestines of fruit flies five years ago, O'Brien and Bilder decided to investigate the role of adult stem cells in normal intestinal growth in hopes of finding clues to their role in vertebrates like us.

"I looked at stained stem cells in the fruit fly intestine, and they are studded throughout like jewels. The tissues were so beautiful, I knew I had to study them," O'Brien said.

O'Brien, Bilder and their colleagues discovered that when fruit flies feed, their intestines secrete insulin locally, which stimulates intestinal stem cells to divide and produce more intestinal cells.

"The real surprise was that the fruit fly intestine is capable of secreting its own insulin," BIlder said. "This intestinal insulin spikes immediately after feeding and talks directly to stem cells, so the intestine controls its own adaptation."

Stem cells can divide either asymmetrically, producing one stem cell and one intestinal cell, or symmetrically, producing two stem cells. The team found that, in response to food, intestinal stem cells underwent symmetric division more frequently than asymmetric division, which had the effect of maintaining the proportion of stem cells to intestinal cells, and is a more efficient way of ramping up the total number of cells, O'Brien said.

"Adaptive resizing of the intestine makes sense from the standpoint of physiological fitness," she said. "Upkeep of the intestinal lining is metabolically expensive, consuming up to 30 percent of the body's energy resources. By minimizing intestinal size when food is scarce, and maximizing digestive capacity when food is abundant, adaptive intestinal resizing by stem cells helps animals survive in constantly changing environments."


'/>"/>
Contact: Robert Sanders
rsanders@berkeley.edu
510-643-6998
University of California - Berkeley
Source:Eurekalert  

Related medicine news :

1. Women win out in gastrointestinal surgery
2. ASGE and SHEA issue updated multisociety guideline on reprocessing flexible gastrointestinal endoscopes
3. Intestinal cell defense mechanism against bacteria
4. Childhood Cancer Therapies Tied to Gastrointestinal Issues
5. Dietary research offers new explanations and treatments approaches for gastrointestinal disorders
6. Whats your intestinal bacteria type?
7. Autism Speaks awards $770,000 for gastrointestinal research in autism spectrum disorders
8. Hemolysis and intestinal injury
9. AGA, General Mills announce grant to uncover role between intestinal bacteria and health and disease
10. Researchers Turn Stem Cells Into Intestinal Tissue in Lab
11. Intestinal enzyme helps maintain population of beneficial bacteria
Post Your Comments:
*Name:
*Comment:
*Email:
Related Image:
Intestinal stem cells respond to food by supersizing the gut
(Date:4/25/2017)... Fl (PRWEB) , ... April 25, 2017 , ... There ... Memorial Regional Hospital, according to a special report in the May issue of Consumer ... its highest quality ranking for results achieved during and after coronary bypass and ...
(Date:4/24/2017)... ... April 24, 2017 , ... LG CNS ... Own Device (BYOD) capabilities at Telehealth 2.0, the American Telemedicine Association’s national conference. ... pairs medical devices with a pre-programmed tablet in a remarkably easy-to-use kit for ...
(Date:4/24/2017)... (PRWEB) , ... April 24, 2017 , ... As part ... Museum today to honor the victims of the Holocaust and Nazi persecution, Center ... at Hadamar and Auschwitz on its CMATH Champions trip to Germany and Poland next ...
(Date:4/24/2017)... Calif. (PRWEB) , ... April 24, 2017 , ... The ... $1.6 million in charitable dental services to 1,961 people during the April 22-23 event ... at no charge to Californians who experience barriers to care, CDA Cares educates the ...
(Date:4/24/2017)... Boca Raton, Florida (PRWEB) , ... April 24, ... ... that develops a variety of unique liquid food supplements, announced its popular products ... of nutritional products. , ALP Nutrition® prioritizes the use of premium natural ...
Breaking Medicine News(10 mins):
(Date:4/20/2017)... --  ZappRx, Inc ., a digital health company focused on ... it closed $25 million in Series B funding led by ... Seattle that is part of a ... B round included participation from SR One , who ... (formerly Google Ventures). As part of the financing, ...
(Date:4/20/2017)... 20, 2017 Research and Markets has ... Market Share, Application Analysis, Regional Outlook, Growth Trends, Key Players, ... their offering. ... pharmacogenomics market was valued at US$ 7,167.6 Mn in 2015, ... expanding at a CAGR of 5.6% from 2016 to 2024. ...
(Date:4/20/2017)... , April 20, 2017 NeuroVive Pharmaceutical ... today announced positive preclinical results demonstrating anti-fibrotic ... for non-alcoholic steatohepatitis (NASH), in an additional ... NV556 has previously shown similar anti-fibrotic ... Today, NeuroVive,s scientists present novel data demonstrating ...
Breaking Medicine Technology: