We report here that side population (SP) sorting allows for the simultaneous isolation of two intestinal stem cell (ISC) subsets from wild-type (WT) mice which are phenotypically different and represent cycling and non-cycling pools of cells. Following 5-ethynyl-2'-deoxyuridine (EdU) injection, in the upper side population (USP) the percentage of EdU+ was 36% showing this fraction to be highly proliferative. In the lower side population (LSP), only 0.4% of cells were EdU+, indicating this fraction to be predominantly non-cycling. Using Lgr5-EGFP mice, we show that Lgr5-EGFP(hi) cells, representing actively cycling ISCs, are essentially exclusive to the USP. In contrast, using histone 2B-YFP mice, SP analysis revealed YFP label retaining cells (LRCs) in both the USP and the LSP. Correspondingly, evaluation of the SP fractions for mRNA markers by qRT-PCR showed that the USP was enriched in transcripts associated with both quiescent and active ISCs. In contrast, the LSP expressed mRNA markers of quiescent ISCs while being de-enriched for those of the active ISC. Both the USP and LSP are capable of generating enteroids in culture which include the four intestinal lineages. We conclude that sorting of USP and LSP fractions represents a novel isolation of cycling and non-cycling ISCs from WT mice.
Copyright © 2013 The Authors. Published by Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.