Original Paper

Digestive Diseases and Sciences

, Volume 52, Issue 5, pp 1242-1246

Activation of β-Catenin in the Stem Cell Region of Crypts During Growth of the Small Intestine in Infant Rats

  • Kimberley S. CamacAffiliated withDepartment of Gastroenterology and Hepatology, The Queen Elizabeth HospitalUniversity of South Australia
  • , Fiona M. ThompsonAffiliated withDepartment of Gastroenterology and Hepatology, The Queen Elizabeth HospitalUniversity of Adelaide
  • , Adrian G. CumminsAffiliated withDepartment of Gastroenterology and Hepatology, The Queen Elizabeth HospitalUniversity of South AustraliaUniversity of AdelaideDepartment of Gastroenterology and Hepatology, The Queen Elizabeth Hospital Email author 

Rent the article at a discount

Rent now

* Final gross prices may vary according to local VAT.

Get Access

Abstract

The Wnt/β-catenin pathway has been proposed as promoting intestinal stem cell division. Wnt ligands activate cytoplasmic β-catenin and increase nuclear translocation of β-catenin that binds to the Tcf-4 transcription factor. The aim of this study was to investigate β-catenin expression in the stem cell region of crypts during intestinal growth in rats. Litters of DAxPVG/c rats were humanely killed at 7, 14, 21, 35, and 72 days of life. β-Catenin and Tcf-4 were quantified by immunoperoxidase staining and image analysis with cumulative signal analysis. Cytoplasmic and nuclear expression of β-catenin peaked nearly 2-fold at day 14 (versus day 7) of life in the stem cell region of intestinal crypts. Tcf-4 nuclear expression peaked earlier at 7 days and was lower thereafter with age. We conclude that the Wnt/β-catenin pathway is activated in the stem cell region of intestinal crypts during growth of the small intestine.

Keywords

Beta catenin Growth factor Intestinal growth Intestinal stem cell