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Screening of Intestinal Crypt Organoids: A Simple Readout for Complex Biology

Ruffner, Heinz, Ley, Svenja, Galuba, Olaf, Melin, Nicolas, Salathe, Adrian, Aebi, Alexandra, Pikiolek, Monika, Knehr, Judith, Carbone, Walter, Beibel, Martin, Roma, Guglielmo, D'Ario, Giovanni, Gubser Keller, Caroline, Bouwmeester, Antonius, Parker, Christian, Bouchez, Laure, Kirkland, Susan and Nigsch, Florian (2017) Screening of Intestinal Crypt Organoids: A Simple Readout for Complex Biology. Journal of biomolecular screening. ISSN 1552-454X; 1087-0571


Oral and intestinal mucositis is a debilitating, often dose limiting side effect of radiation treatment. A mouse model of mucositis, induced by gamma irradiation, leads to weight loss and tissue damage, similar to that observed in patients. This model reflects the human ailment as it responds to keratinocyte growth factor (KGF), the standard of care treatment.
Culturing of intestinal crypt organoids derived from primary cells allowed the development of a 3D assay to monitor the effect of treatments of intestinal epithelium to radiation-induced damage. This in vitro assay closely resembles the mouse model as KGF and Roof Plate-Specific Spondin-1 (RSPO1) enhanced the recovery of crypt organoids following radiation. Screening identified tool compounds that increased the survival of organoids post radiation. Repeated testing of these compounds revealed that the organoids changed their response over time. To investigate this adaptive behavior, intestinal organoid cultures were studied over time. Samples of organoids at various time points were used to prepare mRNA for unbiased transcriptome analyses. This expression profiling revealed a number of genes and pathways that were modulated over time, providing a rationale for the altered sensitivity of the intestinal crypt organoid cultures.
This report describes the development of an in vitro assay that reflects the response of disease to therapeutic treatment. The assay was miniaturized and used to identify bioactive tool compounds, which served as probes to interrogate the patho-physiology of organoids over prolonged culture conditions. In vitro disease models based on primary 3D cell cultures represent valuable tools to identify potential drug targets and bioactive hits.

Item Type: Article
Date Deposited: 09 Feb 2017 00:45
Last Modified: 09 Feb 2017 00:45