Unlimited expansion of intestinal stem cells from a wide range of ages

Integr Mol Med. 2019 Aug;6(4):10.15761/IMM.1000375. doi: 10.15761/IMM.1000375. Epub 2019 Jul 15.


The recent technical advance in cloning and culturing ground-state intestinal stem cells (ISC) provides us an opportunity of accurate assessment of age-related impact on the function of highly proliferative intestinal stem cells. Our ability of indefinitely and robustly expanding single-stem-cell derived pedigrees in vitro allows us to study intestinal stem cells at the clonal level. Interestingly, comparable number of ISC clones was yielded from 1mm endoscopic biopsy of all donors despite the age. They were passaged in vitro as pedigrees and expanded to 1 billion cells in approximately sixty days without changes in stemness demonstrated by clonogenicity and multipotency. Therefore, our study shows that ISCs from a wide range of ages can be cloned and expanded to unlimited number in vitro with similar efficiency and stability. These patient-derived ISCs harbor intrinsic immortality and are ideal for autologous transplantation, supporting the promise of adult-stem-cell based personalized medicine.