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Development of Functional Microfold (M) Cells from Intestinal Stem Cells in Primary Human Enteroids.
- Author(s): Rouch, Joshua D;
- Scott, Andrew;
- Lei, Nan Ye;
- Solorzano-Vargas, R Sergio;
- Wang, Jiafang;
- Hanson, Elaine M;
- Kobayashi, Masae;
- Lewis, Michael;
- Stelzner, Matthias G;
- Dunn, James CY;
- Eckmann, Lars;
- Martín, Martín G
- et al.
Published Web Locationhttps://doi.org/10.1371/journal.pone.0148216
Background & aimsIntestinal microfold (M) cells are specialized epithelial cells that act as gatekeepers of luminal antigens in the intestinal tract. They play a critical role in the intestinal mucosal immune response through transport of viruses, bacteria and other particles and antigens across the epithelium to immune cells within Peyer's patch regions and other mucosal sites. Recent studies in mice have demonstrated that M cells are generated from Lgr5+ intestinal stem cells (ISCs), and that infection with Salmonella enterica serovar Typhimurium increases M cell formation. However, it is not known whether and how these findings apply to primary human small intestinal epithelium propagated in an in vitro setting.
MethodsHuman intestinal crypts were grown as monolayers with growth factors and treated with recombinant RANKL, and assessed for mRNA transcripts, immunofluorescence and uptake of microparticles and S. Typhimurium.
ResultsFunctional M cells were generated by short-term culture of freshly isolated human intestinal crypts in a dose- and time-dependent fashion. RANKL stimulation of the monolayer cultures caused dramatic induction of the M cell-specific markers, SPIB, and Glycoprotein-2 (GP2) in a process primed by canonical WNT signaling. Confocal microscopy demonstrated a pseudopod phenotype of GP2-positive M cells that preferentially take up microparticles. Furthermore, infection of the M cell-enriched cultures with the M cell-tropic enteric pathogen, S. Typhimurium, led to preferential association of the bacteria with M cells, particularly at lower inoculum sizes. Larger inocula caused rapid induction of M cells.
ConclusionsHuman intestinal crypts containing ISCs can be cultured and differentiate into an epithelial layer with functional M cells with characteristic morphological and functional properties. This study is the first to demonstrate that M cells can be induced to form from primary human intestinal epithelium, and that S. Typhimurium preferentially infect these cells in an in vitro setting. We anticipate that this model can be used to generate large numbers of M cells for further functional studies of these key cells of intestinal immune induction and their impact on controlling enteric pathogens and the intestinal microbiome.
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