Stem Cell


Protocols in Current Issue
Protocols in Past Issues
0 Q&A 3223 Views Jan 20, 2022

In the expanding field of intestinal organoid research, various protocols for three- and two-dimensional organoid-derived cell cultures exist. Two-dimensional organoid-derived monolayers are used to overcome some limitations of three-dimensional organoid cultures. They are increasingly used also in infection research, to study physiological processes and tissue barrier functions, where easy experimental access of pathogens to the luminal and/or basolateral cell surface is required. This has resulted in an increasing number of publications reporting different protocols and media compositions for organoid manipulation, precluding direct comparisons of research outcomes in some cases. With this in mind, here we describe a protocol aimed at the harmonization of seeding conditions for three-dimensional intestinal organoids of four commonly used research species onto cell culture inserts, to create organoid-derived monolayers that form electrophysiologically tight epithelial barriers. We give an in-depth description of media compositions and culture conditions for creating these monolayers, enabling also the less experienced researchers to obtain reproducible results within a short period of time, and which should simplify the comparison of future studies between labs, but also encourage others to consider these systems as alternative cell culture models in their research.

Graphic abstract:

Schematic workflow of organoid-derived monolayer generation from intestinal spheroid cultures. ECM, extracellular matrix; ODM, organoid-derived monolayer.

0 Q&A 3262 Views Oct 5, 2020
In this protocol, we describe our methods to isolate crypts from patients' biopsy samples and to culture human intestinal stem cells as it’s called “organoid.” Beyond that, we describe how to dissociate organoids cells into single cells for single-cell analysis as a further application. This protocol should provide investigators sufficient tools to generate human organoids from biopsy samples and to accomplish a stable in-vitro assay system.
1 Q&A 14779 Views Dec 20, 2016
RNA sequencing (RNA-seq) has become a popular method for profiling gene expression. Among many applications, one common purpose is to identify differentially expressed genes and pathways in different biological or pathological conditions. This protocol provides detailed procedure for RNA-seq analysis of ~250,000 sorted Drosophila intestinal cells (Chen et al., 2016), in which RNA amplification is not required.
1 Q&A 32437 Views Feb 20, 2016
Immunofluorescent staining of organoids can be performed to visualize molecular markers of cell behavior. For example, cell proliferation marked by incorporation of nucleotide (EdU), or to observe markers of intestinal differentiation including paneth cells, goblet cells, or enterocytes (see Figure 1). In this protocol we detail a method to fix, permeabilize, stain and mount intestinal organoids for analysis by immunofluorescent confocal microscopy.

Figure 1. A schematic depicting a crypt-villus forming organoid, and visualization of Paneth cells by immunofluorescence staining. Left: Small intestinal organoids grow as crypt-villus structures that contain all of the multiple differentiated lineages of the intestine. Right: Immunofluorescent staining can be used to visualize individual cell types in the organoid. Here paneth cells are visualized by staining for lysozyme (“Lyso,” Green), which reveals Paneth cells located at crypt bases. F-Actin (Red) reveals crypt structure at the apical surface of the epithelium, and DAPI (Blue) reveals cell nuclei. Scale bar is 25 μm.
6 Q&A 27956 Views Feb 20, 2016
In this protocol we describe our modifications to a method to isolate, culture and maintain mouse intestinal stem cells as crypt-villus forming organoids. These cells, isolated either from the small or large intestine, maintain self-renewal and multilineage differentiation potential over time. This provides investigators a tool to culture wild type or transformed intestinal epithelium, and a robust assay for stem cell tissue homeostasis in vitro.
0 Q&A 15567 Views Nov 5, 2015
The intestinal epithelial layer forms tubular invaginations into the underlying connective tissue of the lamina propria. These structures, termed crypts, are the basic functional unit of the intestine. Colon crypts and the surrounding lamina propria house different cell types, including epithelial cells, stem cells, enterocytes, goblet cells, as well as cells of the innate and adaptive immune systems (Clevers, 2013; Mowat and Agace, 2014). Here we describe a technique for the isolation of mouse intestinal crypt cells as well as their characterization by flow cytometry analysis (FACS) (Del Reino et al., 2012).
0 Q&A 9274 Views Oct 20, 2013
This protocol describes a method for efficient immunolabelling of thin tissue slices containing a few rows of intact intestinal crypts, which yields large numbers of them being oriented favorably for recording stacks of optical sections aligned with the crypt long axis (Bellis et al., 2012). The latter can then be used for cell positional analysis, 3D-reconstruction and -analysis. The simple epithelium lining the small intestine is organized into contiguous crypts of Lieberkühn (Potten, 1998; Barker et al., 2012; De Mey and Freund, 2013) several of which making up a crypt/villus unit. Each crypt is a multicellular proliferation unit with a tight hierarchical organization. Under steady state conditions, the epithelium is continuously and rapidly renewed, driven by divisions of multipotent intestinal SCs near the crypt base and cell removal from the villus tip. Techniques for analyzing the organization of the crypts play an important role in the field. Maximal efficiency is obtained by using optical sections obtained from confocal scanning and/or Nomarski optics passing through the center of the longitudinal crypt axis to view the crypt as two cell columns of hierarchical lineage starting from cells positioned at or near the crypt base. This enables positional analysis of certain cellular capacities like performing DNA synthesis, undergoing mitosis and apoptosis (Caldwell et al., 2007; Fleming et al., 2007; Quyn et al., 2010), responding to injury (Potten et al., 1997), or expressing genes (Barker et al., 2012; Bjerknes et al., 2012; Itzkovitz et al., 2012). Our protocol has allowed us to demonstrate that some divisions are asymmetric with respect to cell fate and the occurrence of oriented cell division (OCD) in 80% of the proliferating cells in the upper stem cell and transit amplifying zones. It has further revealed planar cell polarities which are important for crypt homeostasis and stem cell biology and alterations in apparently normal crypts and microadenomas of mice carrying germline Apc mutations shedding new light on the first stages of progression towards colorectal cancer.

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