Lrig1 + Stem Cells and Their Role During Colitis Recovery
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The intestine is a highly regenerative organ in humans and mice in which epithelial cells are replenished weekly and damage is rapidly repaired. Lrig1 protein has been shown to mark a population of quiescent stem cells residing in the base of the crypt that may be important for the recovery of the intestine from a disease state. Current knowledge about the stem cell populations involved in colonic injury and repair is sparse. To address this, we used Lrig1 as a marker for lineage tracing of the stem cells that reside at the base and the middle of the intestinal crypts. Lineage tracing of Lrig1-Cre/ROSA26-YFP mice was induced in animals treated with DSS to simulate ulcerative colitis in the distal colon. We performed immunohistochemistry analysis for lineage tracing and proliferation to examine the location of Lrig1-based cellular contribution in recovery after DSS-induced colitis. We hypothesize that Lrig1 positive stem cells participate in the recovery of the intestine from damage caused by DSS induced colitis.