Gastric Stem Cells

The stomach is a dynamic organ, largely composed of epithelial cells that are constantly turning over and being replenished. The progenitor zone, or isthmus, is located in the upper third of the glands. As a result, differentiating cells must migrate bi-directionally along the glands. Although the progenitor region has been well characterized, no molecular markers for stem cells have been discovered for the corpus. Current studies in the lab involve identifying potential stem/progenitor cell markers for this region of the stomach. One marker for antral stem cells has been identified, the orphan receptor leucine rich repeat G-protein coupled receptor 5 (Lgr5). Additional investigations in the lab utilize the Lgr5-EGFP-IRES-CreERT2 mice to follow lineage differentiation of antral epithelial cells.