Reviews in Endocrine and Metabolic Disorders

, Volume 17, Issue 4, pp 559–569 | Cite as

Thyroid hormone regulation of adult intestinal stem cells: Implications on intestinal development and homeostasis

  • Guihong Sun
  • Julia Roediger
  • Yun-Bo Shi


Organ-specific adult stem cells are essential for organ homeostasis, tissue repair and regeneration. The formation of such stem cells often takes place during postembryonic development, a period around birth in mammals when plasma thyroid hormone concentration is high. The life-long self-renewal of the intestinal epithelium has made mammalian intestine a valuable model to study the function and regulation and adult stem cells. On the other hand, much less is known about how the adult intestinal stem cells are formed during vertebrate development. Here, we will review some recent progresses on this subject, focusing mainly on the formation of the adult intestine during Xenopus metamorphosis. We will discuss the role of thyroid hormone signaling pathway in the process and potential molecular conservations between amphibians and mammals as well as the implications in organ homeostasis and human diseases.


Thyroid hormone receptor Stem cell Metamorphosis Xenopus laevis and tropicalis Postembryonic development Intestine 



This work was supported by the intramural Research Program of NICHD, NIH and National Natural Science Foundation of China (Grant No. 31370187 and 81572447).

Compliance with ethical standards

Conflict of interest

The authors declare that they have no conflict of interest.


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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media New York (outside the USA) 2016

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.School of Basic Medical SciencesWuhan UniversityWuhanPeople’s Republic of China
  2. 2.Section on Molecular Morphogenesis, Program in Cellular Regulation and Metabolism (PCRM)Eunice Kennedy Shriver National Institute of Child Health and Human Development (NICHD), National Institutes of Health (NIH)BethesdaUSA

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