Human Intestinal Organoids Maintain Self-Renewal Capacity and Cellular Diversity in Niche-Inspired Culture Condition

Cell Stem Cell. 2018 Dec 6;23(6):787-793.e6. doi: 10.1016/j.stem.2018.11.016.


Cellular diversity that shapes tissue architecture and function is governed by multiple niche signals. Nonetheless, maintaining cellular diversity in human intestinal organoids has been challenging. Based on niche ligands present in the natural stem cell milieu, we establish a refined organoid culture condition for intestinal epithelia that allows human intestinal organoids to concurrently undergo multi-differentiation and self-renewal. High-throughput screening reveals that the combination of insulin-like growth factor 1 (IGF-1) and fibroblast growth factor 2 (FGF-2) enhances the clonogenic capacity and CRISPR-genome engineering efficiency of human intestinal stem cells. The combination equally enables long-term culture of a range of intestinal organoids, including rat small intestinal organoids. Droplet-based single-cell RNA sequencing further illustrates the conservation of the native cellular diversity in human small intestinal organoids cultured with the refined condition. The modified culture protocol outperforms the conventional method and offers a viable strategy for modeling human intestinal tissues and diseases in an in vivo relevant context.

Keywords: CRISPR-Cas9; LGR5; M cells; Paneth cells; diffusion pseudotime; enteroendocrine cells; intestinal stem cells; p38 signaling; tuft cells; ulcerative colitis.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Cell Culture Techniques*
  • Cell Self Renewal*
  • Cells, Cultured
  • Humans
  • Intestines / cytology*
  • Male
  • Organoids / cytology*
  • Rats
  • Rats, Inbred Lew
  • Stem Cell Niche*