Intestinal organoids as tissue surrogates for toxicological and pharmacological studies

Biochem Pharmacol. 2013 Jun 15;85(12):1721-6. doi: 10.1016/j.bcp.2013.04.016. Epub 2013 Apr 25.


Recently developed cell culture protocols have allowed for the derivation of multi-cellular structures dubbed intestinal "organoids" from embryonic stem cells (ESCs), induced pluripotent stem cells (IPSCs), and adult intestinal stem cells (ISCs). These structures resemble in vivo intestinal crypts, both in structure and developmental processes, and can be grown quickly and in relatively large quantities. Although much research has focused on developing intestinal organoids for tissue repair, more immediate applications include high-throughput screening for agents that target intestinal epithelium. Here we describe current methods for deriving mouse and human intestinal organoids and discuss some applications aimed at developing novel therapies or preventive agents for diseases of the lower GI tract such as inflammatory bowel diseases and colorectal cancer.

Publication types

  • Research Support, N.I.H., Extramural
  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't
  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Drug-Related Side Effects and Adverse Reactions* / pathology
  • Gastrointestinal Diseases / pathology
  • Gastrointestinal Diseases / surgery
  • Humans
  • Induced Pluripotent Stem Cells / transplantation
  • Intestinal Mucosa / cytology
  • Intestinal Mucosa / drug effects*
  • Intestinal Mucosa / transplantation*
  • Organoids / cytology
  • Organoids / drug effects*
  • Organoids / transplantation*
  • Stem Cell Transplantation / methods