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    Colonic stem cells play important roles in both normal epithelial turnover and injury repair. Lgr5+ colonic stem cells are highly susceptible to DSS-induced damage. However, it is still unclear how colonic stem cells regenerate injured epithelium during colitis. Here, we explored the functions of a new population of NFATc1+ colonic stem cells in experimental colitis. Nfatc1+ colonic stem cells were labeled using Nfatc1CreERT2 ;R26mTmG reporter mice. Immunostaining assays were used to detect Goblet cells, enteroendocrine cells, and intestinal stem/progenitor cells. We performed lineage tracing assay to investigate whether Nfatc1+ cells are real colonic stem cells using Nfatc1CreERT2 ;R26mTmG mice. The contribution of Nfatc1+ stem cells on epithelial regeneration was detected in experimental colitis induced by DSS. Nfatc1-reporter marked cells are enriched for +3 to +5 position in colonic crypts, and they are overlapped with Sox9+ cells and Hopx+ cells that have been identified as stem cells in small intestine. However, Nfatc1-reporter marked cells are not overlapped with Lgr5+ colonic stem cells, as well as differentiated goblet cells and enteroendocrine cells. Furthermore, Nfatc1-reporter marked cells are able to give rise to all lineages of the colonic epithelium, and they preferentially contribute to the regeneration of colonic epithelium in DSS-induced experimental colitis. Nfatc1+ cells were identified as a novel population of colonic stem cells that are primarily located at +3 to +5 position and contribute to epithelial regeneration during colitis. © 2022 Journal of Gastroenterology and Hepatology Foundation and John Wiley & Sons Australia, Ltd.


    Jianyang Wang, Linkuo Shang, Jiahui Zhang, Zhengquan Yu, Jiaqiang Huang, Jing Jin, Cong Lv. Nfatc1+ colonic stem cells contribute to regeneration upon colitis. Journal of gastroenterology and hepatology. 2022 Apr;37(4):734-740

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    PMID: 35102609

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