Organoid Models of Human Gastrointestinal Development and Disease

Gastroenterology. 2016 May;150(5):1098-1112. doi: 10.1053/j.gastro.2015.12.042. Epub 2016 Jan 14.


We have greatly advanced our ability to grow a diverse range of tissue-derived and pluripotent stem cell-derived gastrointestinal (GI) tissues in vitro. These systems, broadly referred to as organoids, have allowed the field to move away from the often nonphysiological, transformed cell lines that have been used for decades in GI research. Organoids are derived from primary tissues and have the capacity for long-term growth. They contain varying levels of cellular complexity and physiological similarity to native organ systems. We review the latest discoveries from studies of tissue-derived and pluripotent stem cell-derived intestinal, gastric, esophageal, liver, and pancreatic organoids. These studies have provided important insights into GI development, tissue homeostasis, and disease and might be used to develop personalized medicines.

Keywords: Gastrointestinal Development; Gastrointestinal Disease; Gastrointestinal Regeneration; Gut Organoids.

Publication types

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

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Cell Differentiation
  • Cell Lineage
  • Cell Proliferation
  • Gastrointestinal Diseases / pathology
  • Gastrointestinal Diseases / physiopathology*
  • Gastrointestinal Tract / cytology
  • Gastrointestinal Tract / physiology*
  • Humans
  • Models, Animal
  • Organogenesis
  • Organoids / cytology
  • Organoids / physiology*
  • Phenotype
  • Pluripotent Stem Cells / physiology*
  • Regeneration
  • Species Specificity
  • Tissue Culture Techniques