Intestinal regeneration is crucial for functional restoration after injury, and nutritional molecules can play an important role in this process. Here, we found that arachidonic acid (AA) serves as a direct proliferation promoter of intestinal epithelial cells that facilitates small intestinal regeneration in both three-dimensional cultured organoids and mouse models. As shown in the study, during post-irradiation regeneration, AA positively regulates intestinal epithelial cell proliferation by upregulating the expression of Ascl2 and activating WNT signaling, but negatively regulates intestinal epithelial cell differentiation. AA acts as a delicate regulator that efficiently facilitates epithelial tissue repair by activating radiation-resistant Msi1+ cells rather than Lgr5+ cells, which are extensively considered WNT-activated crypt base stem cells. Additionally, short-term AA treatment maintains optimal intestinal epithelial homeostasis under physiological conditions. As a result, AA treatment can be considered a potential therapy for irradiation injury repair and tissue regeneration.
Keywords: WNT signaling; arachidonic acid; differentiation; fatty acids; intestinal stem cells; irradiation injury; proliferation.
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