Intestinal epithelial replacement by transplantation of cultured murine and human cells into the small intestine

PLoS One. 2019 May 31;14(5):e0216326. doi: 10.1371/journal.pone.0216326. eCollection 2019.


Adult intestinal epithelial stem cells are a promising resource for treatment of intestinal epithelial disorders that cause intestinal failure and for intestinal tissue engineering. We developed two different animal models to study the implantation of cultured murine and human intestinal epithelial cells in the less differentiated "spheroid" state and the more differentiated "enteroid" state into the denuded small intestine of mice. Engraftment of donor cells could not be achieved while the recipient intestine remained in continuity. However, we were able to demonstrate successful implantation of murine and human epithelial cells when the graft segment was in a bypassed loop of jejunum. Implantation of donor cells occurred in a random fashion in villus and crypt areas. Engraftment was observed in 75% of recipients for murine and 36% of recipients for human cells. Engrafted spheroid cells differentiated into the full complement of intestinal epithelial cells. These findings demonstrate for the first time successful engraftment into the small bowel which is optimized in a bypassed loop surgical model.

Publication types

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

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Cell Differentiation
  • Cells, Cultured
  • Disease Models, Animal
  • Epithelial Cells / transplantation*
  • Graft Survival
  • Humans
  • Intestine, Small / cytology*
  • Jejunum
  • Mice
  • Spheroids, Cellular / transplantation