The Drosophila hindgut lacks constitutively active adult stem cells but proliferates in response to tissue damage

Cell Stem Cell. 2009 Sep 4;5(3):290-7. doi: 10.1016/j.stem.2009.06.003. Epub 2009 Aug 20.


The adult Drosophila hindgut was recently reported to contain active, tissue-replenishing stem cells, like those of the midgut, but located within an anterior ring so as to comprise a single giant crypt. In contrast to this view, we observed no active stem cells and little cell turnover in adult hindgut tissue based on clonal marking and BrdU incorporation studies. Again contradicting the previous proposal, we showed that the adult hindgut is not generated by anterior stem cells during larval/pupal development. However, severe tissue damage within the hindgut elicits cell proliferation within a ring of putative quiescent stem cells at the anterior of the pylorus. Thus, the hindgut does not provide a model of tissue maintenance by constitutively active stem cells, but has great potential to illuminate mechanisms of stress-induced tissue repair.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Adult Stem Cells / cytology*
  • Adult Stem Cells / enzymology
  • Animals
  • Cell Proliferation
  • Clone Cells
  • Digestive System / pathology*
  • Drosophila / cytology*
  • Ileum / cytology
  • Ileum / growth & development
  • Larva / cytology
  • Pylorus / cytology
  • Pylorus / growth & development
  • beta-Galactosidase / metabolism


  • beta-Galactosidase