Gut microbiota promotes stem cell differentiation through macrophage and mesenchymal niches in early postnatal development Journal Articles uri icon

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  • Intestinal stem cell maturation and development coincide with gut microbiota exposure after birth. Here, we investigated how early life microbial exposure, and disruption of this process, impacts the intestinal stem cell niche and development. Single-cell transcriptional analysis revealed impaired stem cell differentiation into Paneth cells and macrophage specification upon antibiotic treatment in early life. Mouse genetic and organoid co-culture experiments demonstrated that a CD206+ subset of intestinal macrophages secreted Wnt ligands, which maintained the mesenchymal niche cells important for Paneth cell differentiation. Antibiotics and reduced numbers of Paneth cells are associated with the deadly infant disease, necrotizing enterocolitis (NEC). We showed that colonization with Lactobacillus or transfer of CD206+ macrophages promoted Paneth cell differentiation and reduced NEC severity. Together, our work defines the gut microbiota-mediated regulation of stem cell niches during early postnatal development.


  • Kim, Ji-Eun
  • Li, Bo
  • Fei, Lijiang
  • Horne, Rachael
  • Lee, Dorothy
  • Ho Loe, Adrian Kwan
  • Miyake, Hiromu
  • Ayar, Eda
  • Gurma, Maria
  • Kim, Dae-Kyum
  • Surette, Michael
  • Philpott, Dana J
  • Sherman, Philip
  • Guo, Guoji
  • Pierro, Agostino
  • Kim, Tae-Hee

publication date

  • December 2022