The intestine's ability to recover from catastrophic injury requires quiescent intestinal stem cells (q-ISCs). While rapidly cycling (Lgr5+) crypt base columnar (CBC) ISCs normally maintain the intestine, they are highly sensitive to pathological injuries (irradiation, inflammation) and must be restored by q-ISCs to sustain intestinal homeostasis. Despite clear relevance to human health, virtually nothing is known regarding the factors that regulate q-ISCs. A comprehensive understanding of these mechanisms would likely lead to targeted new therapies with profound therapeutic implications for patients with gastrointestinal conditions. We briefly review the current state of the literature, highlighting homeostatic mechanisms important for q-ISC regulation, listing key questions in the field, and offer strategies to address them. Developmental Dynamics 245:718-726, 2016. © 2016 Wiley Periodicals, Inc.
Keywords: dormant; intestinal stem cells; quiescent.
© 2016 Wiley Periodicals, Inc.