Survival and cellular heterogeneity of epithelium in cultured mouse and rat precision-cut intestinal slices

Biel, C., Bigaeva, E., Hesse, M., Bomers, J. J. M., van Summeren, K., Teunis, M. A. T., Vaessen, S., Ten Klooster, J. P. & Olinga, P., Dec-2020, In : Toxicology in Vitro. 69, 104974.

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  • 1-Survival and cellular heterogeneity of epithelium in cultured mouse and rat precision-cut intestinal slices

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Precision-cut intestinal slices (PCIS) are used to study intestinal (patho)physiology, drug efficacy, toxicity, transport and metabolism ex vivo. One of the factors that limit the use of PCIS is a relatively short life-span. Moreover, culture-induced changes in cellular composition of PCIS remain largely uncharacterized. In this study, we demonstrated the epithelial cell heterogeneity in mouse and rat PCIS and its alterations during culture. In addition, we evaluated whether the presence of niche growth factors impacts the survival of PCIS epithelial cells. We showed that freshly prepared PCIS retained the main epithelial cell types, namely absorptive enterocytes, goblet cells, enteroendocrine cells, stem cells, transit-amplifying cells and Paneth cells. Once placed in culture, PCIS displayed progressive epithelial damage, and loss of these epithelial cell types. Cells comprising the intestinal stem cell niche were especially sensitive to the damage, and the addition of niche growth factors beneficially affected the survival of stem cells and transit-amplifying cells in PCIS during culture. In conclusion, this study provides new insights into the dynamic changes in cellular composition of epithelium in cultured PCIS, paving the way to future toxicological and pharmacological studies in an informed and reliable ex vivo setting.

Original languageEnglish
Article number104974
JournalToxicology in Vitro
Publication statusPublished - Dec-2020


  • Ex vivo, Intestinal epithelial cells, Precision-cut intestinal slices, Small intestine

ID: 135933539