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Expandable and transplantable fetal intestinal progenitors with colon-regenerative potential

Intestinal progenitor cells with fetal characteristics could be used to repair injured colon epithelium. Ex vivo, intestinal progenitors isolated from human fetal intestinal tissue or generated from induced pluripotent stem (iPS) cells formed fetal enterospheres that could be maintained and propagated for over two months. In mouse studies, an analogous cell population was differentiated ex vivo into intestinal epithelial progeny and used in a mouse model of colonic injury to engraft and form intestinal epithelial structures. Next steps include upscaling the procedure using human iPS cells and testing human enterospheres in a mouse model of colitis.

SciBX 6(46); doi:10.1038/scibx.2013.1335
Published online Dec. 5, 2013

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Fordham, R.P. et al. Cell Stem Cell; published online Oct. 17, 2013;
Contact: Kim B. Jensen, University of Copenhagen, Copenhagen, Denmark